Christmas is just around the corner, but Google is still yet to launch a single cloud-based Chromebook in Australia despite suggestions by manufacturers that they’d make their way here before the start of the celebratory season.
Chromebooks launched in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Spain via Amazon and BestBuy in June this year, offering customers an always connected experience to the Internet. The system is essentially built around Google’s Chrome web browser promising a more secure and easier to use setup the company said.
At the time, manufactures made it fairly obvious they’d like to see the devices available in Australia by the end of 2011 – Samsung Australia made a statement saying it planned to launch the Chromebook “in the second half of 2011,” while an Acer spokesperson told Australian tech site Delimiter that it planned to make its device available “mid to late quarter 3.”
When contacted for comment, both Samsung and Acer have remained quiet about their plans going forward – while a Google spokesperson confirmed that as of now, they still have “nothing to share on this” with “no new updated timeline” available for Chromebooks in Australia.
It hasn’t been smooth sailing since the launch of the devices – in the United States, sales are apparently well lower than expected with DigiTimes suggesting just 30,000 are expected to be sold this year. It’s unclear if this has had any impact on plans for the devices in Australia.
Google isn’t resting on its laurels though. Earlier this week in a bid to once again encourage users towards buying the low cost Internet-based devices, Google announced in a blog post – fittingly entitled “‘Tis the season for Chromebooks” - a series of price cuts to the two existing models by Samsung and Acer (both fell to around US$299) and introduced a new WiFi-only model of the Samsung Chromebook for a cheaper price.
The company also modified slightly how it charges education institutes for the devices, while adding a number of much-requested features via a series of updates over the past few months.
A lack of local Chromebooks hasn’t stopped Google’s Australian arm from spruiking the devices at Google events held across the country – it even gave a few away as prizes.
While not an official Chromebook, those keen to get a Chromebook can acquire one similar in nature – Kogan is as far as we’re aware the only company in Australia to sell a device running the open source version of Google’s Chrome OS.