Apple is the world’s most valuable company, despite its recent struggles. But it faces challenges from many directions–none the least of which are Google’s Chromebooks.
Chromebooks are laptops that run on ChromeOS software and have very low prices–usually under $300 for a laptop with an 11-inch screen or less than $500 for one with a 13 inch screen. They’re designed to be used primarily while connected to the Internet, but they can also work offline if necessary.
Apple has had little success in matching the price points of Chromebooks (though Apple does offer some models priced below $300). The new Kaby Lake chips make this more difficult by offering Intel processors at lower prices than before. And these chips offer higher performance than the ChromeOS-based M1 Chromebooks.
The Google M1 is reportedly a high-end device that puts it in direct competition to Apple’s Macbooks, which are more expensive at $1000 or above for 13 inch models (the M1 will reportedly be priced at Intel Core i5 chips). The new Kaby Lake chips make Google’s laptops competitive with Apple’s Macbooks.
The Kaby Lake chips offer not only higher performance but also 20% better battery life, meaning that the M1 could have even more of an advantage over Macbooks there–and at a lower price point. All of these factors are just speculation for now, until Google says something about the M1 Chromebooks.
The future of Macbooks is uncertain–Apple’s cheapest laptops are $300 above Google’s cost for its most expensive Chromebook, which may be able to match Apple performance-wise. The new chips could also mean that the M1 Chromebooks might have faster processing times than Macbooks as well. While Apple has traditionally been the king of laptops, it’s coming under more pressure than ever thanks to these newer Chromebooks.
The Google M1 might be a threat to Apple’s dominance in the laptop market. If ChromeOS is able to match Mac performance, there may not be much reason for consumers to buy an expensive Macbook instead of a cheaper Chromebook. That said, these are just rumors–Google has yet to officially announce this product or its specs. The new Kaby Lake chips also have their own set of benefits including better battery life and faster processing time–benefits that could make it difficult for other laptops on the market today.