Impact of Chromebook Licensing Fees: How Will the Market be Affected?

2023-08-17 Consumer Electronics editor

According to a report by Taiwan’s Economic Daily, Google has notified Chromebook manufacturers to start collecting licensing fees from July 1st, prompting laptop brands to accelerate shipments ahead of schedule. As a result of this “urgent order,” Taiwan’s contract manufacturers achieved better-than-expected results in Q2.

In a press release dated July 3rd, TrendForce noted that Google’s formal imposition of Chromebook licensing fees is bound to affect the competitiveness of Chromebooks in the entry-level market. However, laptop brands, in order to avoid incurring additional costs due to licensing fees, are actively advancing Chromebook shipments regardless of having a clear grasp of end-demand orders. This enthusiasm has driven overall Chromebook shipment performance in the second quarter.

TrendForce mentioned that after a seven-quarter adjustment period, education tender orders from North America, Indonesia, and India have begun to emerge for Chromebooks. Additionally, with assistance from the United Nations Children’s Fund, Ukraine’s educational reconstruction needs have also gradually emerged. Nevertheless, due to the off-peak season for Chromebooks in the latter half of the year and the impact of licensing fees, demand is expected to remain subdued compared to the first half.

Furthermore, according to TrendForce’s insights, following Google’s formal initiation of licensing fees, the ODM production costs for consumer-grade Chromebooks have risen by $6 to $8, while business-grade laptops have experienced an increase of $7 to $12. However, considering the stagnation in end-demand this year, brand manufacturers have yet to make any adjustments to end-user pricing.

(Photo credit: Google)