IT + CE
Digitimes Research: Google to finish 2-in-1 Chromebook development in 1Q15
Joanne Chien, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei

Google is planning to push 2-in-1 devices in 2015, according Digitimes Research's inquiries within the upstream supply chain. Google's 2-in-1 Chromebook designed by Quanta Computer is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter.

The device features a detachable form factor and runs Android in the tablet form and Chrome when attached to a keyboard. The product's availability shows that Google has achieved a dramatic advance in its progress integrating Android and Chrome OS.

The 2-in-1 Chromebook is believed to be launched under the Google brand. Google announced plans to develop products and applications to seamlessly integrate Android with Chromebook at Google I/O in June 2014. In addition to Google, some brand vendors also plan to launch 2-in-1 Chromebook products in 2015, Digitimes Research's findings showed.

In 2014, worldwide Chromebook shipments reached 6.5 million units, but over 85% of the volume was sold in the US, and over 80% of the sales were K12 and below education procurement orders, which was not healthy for Chromebook to expand its market presence.

However, with the integration of the Android ecosystem, Chromebooks are expected to gain a better chance of expanding in the consumer market and countries outside the US.

To defend from 2-in-1 Chromebooks' penetration, Microsoft is planning to offer new low-price projects for Windows 10 for the second half, and will provide low licensing fees for 10.1-inch and below 2-in-1 devices and models with display sizes between 10.1- and 12.5-inch.

At the same time, Microsoft will also launch an own-brand 10.6-inch Surface detachable 2-in-1 to promote Windows-based 2-in-1 devices.

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