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Surge In Chromebook Sales Catches LCD Suppliers Off Guard

According to a report from NPD Displaywatch, demand for LCD panels this year is outstripping the supply, mainly because of a surge in Chromebook sales and a rush to replace old Windows XP machines.

LCD manufacturers have been caught off guard by the sudden increase in demand, and the current supply of LCD panels doesn't seem enough to satisfy the market demand. The LCD makers have responded to this issue by raising the prices on their existing supply of panels as more OEMs fight to get them.

Chromebooks are becoming increasingly more popular lately for both consumers and organizations, especially as more powerful processors with  higher quality- and resolution panels appear in them while still keeping low price points.

The biggest appeal of Chromebooks, despite Microsoft's attempts to paint them as "not real computers," is their simplicity and high security, which is in many ways the opposite of Windows PCs.

A Chromebook is easy to use because there's really not much else in there except the Chrome browser. So if you know how to use a browser, you know how to use a Chromebook. No tutorials or deep learning curves are necessary.

That means Windows PC viruses aren't a concern, either. In addition, Chrome is consistently the highest rated browser when it comes to security, thanks for the most part to its process sandbox that keeps tabs and extensions tightly contained.

The low prices of Chromebooks coupled with good performance on that cheap hardware have also played a major role in the popularity of Chromebooks. In fact, right now, few would like a $1,000 machine that's "just a browser."

In the future, Google plans to expand the functionality of Chromebooks by adding support for Android apps, but that could take a while as Google figures out how to do it without hurting the performance of Chromebooks or their strong security model (which gets a lot more complex once Android apps are introduced into the Chrome OS ecosystem). That could further increase the demand for Chromebooks, as the people who wanted more than a browser OS start finding them useful, too.

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Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.