What’s the Sweet Spot For Chrome OS Pricing?

Posted on 18. Mar, 2011 by in Chrome, Features

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Price is a very important consideration for Chrome OS. Becuase it’s a different way of using a personal computer one has to wonder how much a Google-sanctioned device with Chrome will cost. With Apple dominating the mobile gadget market with the iPad and several other rival tablets costing much higher than that, there is potential for cloud-based machines to capture the gadget market below $499.
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Netbooks today are generally cheaper than $499, and Asus, who is rumored to be planning a netbook that replaces Windows with a Google OS, currently offers an Intel Atom machine that costs around $310. Take away the Microsoft licensing on that gadget, and you have a latop that may cost around $275 or so.

I think that’s really the best price area for debuting Chrome OS laptops to try to debut in. However, the Asus machine I’m referring to is a bit small by Google’s standards since they have said that they would ideally like to see laptops with full keyboards and larger screens in the 12-13″ size range.

That would require some extra cost, so it’s safe to say that a Chrome OS latop would probably cost around $300 retail. That is a price higher than a smartphone, less than a tablet and a better alternative to Windows netbooks. The question is if hardware manufacturers will be able to balance quality while charging a price that allows them to make money.

What’s the price range that would entice you to buy a Chrome OS PC?

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9 Responses to “What’s the Sweet Spot For Chrome OS Pricing?”

  1. acupunc

    18. Mar, 2011

    Considering I can get a Win7 netbook for ~$300 right now I don’t see Chrome OS making headway above that price range. It just doesn’t offer anything significantly better than a Win7 netbook.

    Also, considering that Android tablets will be hitting the market for ~$400 (Asus Eee Pad 101 = tablet/netbook for $400 and up) and will most likely drop in price quickly it seems like Chrome OS will have an even tougher time finding a place in the market unless it’s dirt cheap.

    Personally I think Android Honeycomb now offers a better alternative. It has the support of the Android ecosystem and the cloud and will work just fine as a netbook/notebook/cloud type of device. Therefore, I think Chrome OS should be merged with Android asap and Google focus both teams on one OS. . . at least that’s my two cents worth ;)

  2. cr48-ubuntu

    18. Mar, 2011

    i think the market for really cheap 12-13 inch laptops is definitely existent.

    I love my cr48′s looks and feel, and I don’t mind its underpoweredness since I don’t use windows on it.

  3. Shane

    19. Mar, 2011

    If someone can pull in a Chrome OS book at least as good as the Cr-48 for $99, it’d be a definite winner. That’s a spur-of-the-moment no second thoughts purchase. After all, Chrome OS books will likely be third (laptop/desktop plus phone) or fourth (laptop and desktop and/or tablet and phone) device. It has to be cheap.

    Once you’re at $199, you’re now very close to the lowest end Windows netbooks. At $299, you’re matching their price (as acupunc mentions).

    So, yeah… $99 to $149. Ideal, unsubsidized, but if it required a $10-20 per month wireless bill to get that, it would still sell much better than at $299.

    However, $199-299 with the free level of WiFi that the Cr-48 offers could still be compelling for many.

    Problem is, no matter how you slice and dice it, Chrome OS is more limiting that Mac/Win/Lin or even Android/iOS. So, if you can’t come in cheaper for something with more limits, I don’t think it can be marketed effectively.

    The Cr-48 was a good price. :)

  4. Daniel Cawrey

    20. Mar, 2011

    I appreciate all the comments, and I have noticed that most people want a device that’s less than $300. That means an Intel solution would be ruled out because it’s too expensive at that price point. Just something to think about…

  5. koman90

    20. Mar, 2011

    Well the way i see it we’re talking about the price of the hardware, but lets put this device where it’s really going to end up, and that’s in a Verizon store.

    Now having that said people are pricing this product at around $100-$300. Having that said the typical Verizon or sprint 3g/4g modem is free to $100 with a new 50$ am month 2 year contract, and the retail value of the modems themselves is about $245

    Given what i said above i think a fair price for one of these at a cell phone store would be FREE with a two year contract.

  6. chromestory

    23. Mar, 2011

    under $300 will be the best option, and for initial boom .. and then we will see !

  7. [...] What’s the Sweet Spot For Chrome OS Pricing? (thechromesource.com) [...]

  8. [...] models are expected to have a retail price under $300. I wrote a few weeks ago that I thought this would be an ideal range to sell these devices, as many early adopters and regular users of Google services would be willing to give a Chrome OS [...]

  9. PC

    30. Mar, 2011

    I, too, love the physical form-factor of my Cr-48, but the Chrome OS is just too limiting to me in its current state.

    I can buy a Windows netbook for $300 or less, dual boot that with my favorite flavor of Linux, and with both operating systems utilizing the Chrome browser I have much more functionality than with the Cr-48.

    To me, the ideal price point for a product similar to the Cr-48 would have to be under $300, or under $200 for a smaller-screened model.

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