Google May Increase Prices and Processor Performance of Chromebooks


Editor in Chief
Staff member
Jan 5, 2011

So far, the Chromebook hasn't been extremely successful for Google. Even in Asia, the netbooks/notebooks aren't selling well. Marketing teams at Google have identified the problem as a price & performance issue, and that they are simply trying to compete in the wrong market segment. Since their release, the Chromebook has been pegged as an entry-level competitor to netbooks and Apple's iPad. Unfortunately, this leaves the $500 dollar pricing of the Chromebook at the very upper end of the pricing spectrum in that tier of product. Google's solution is to upgrade the processor from the Intel Atom that currently runs it, to the Intel Core i3 CPU, and then raise the price above the $500 dollar barrier to the mid-level product segment. Google is currently planning to make this upgrade and move the product into that consumer tier as early as the fourth quarter of this year.

Ultimately, the real problem for the device is not reality, but perception. Consumers perceive the product as a lower-end and slower device due to the Intel Atom chip that is typically in $300 dollar and less netbooks. Thus, its pricing at $500 dollars seems like too hard of a pill to swallow for consumers that don't realize it can do much more than your typical netbook. From the other side, typical notebook consumers have a perception that the device can't perform many of the same functions as their Windows based notebooks, leaving the Chromebook in a "no-win scenario". Google hopes that by increasing the processor speed and upping the price, they can convince the mid-range consumer that the Chromebook is a less-expensive alternative to a typical notebook computer. Apparently, confidence in Google's ability to make this transition isn't dampened within their OEMs, because Samsung, Acer and Asus, have all agreed to join in with the new upgrades. Now, they just need to translate that confidence to consumers, and perhaps they can make a dramatic turnaround for the fledgling product.

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Unbelievable! That will just give all the more reason to get a "real computer", and use apps for "cloud functions". They need to get a cloud clue, and offer the current Atom models for under $200, and/or, have the cellular providers subsidize them down to about $100 (or less).

Oh well, I will just keep tethering my netbooks/notebooks off my regular cell phone, and use whatever app runs on them (Linux and Windoze, although no Android with my picky Archos 5).