Google has today unveiled plans to expand retail availability of Chromebooks in the US and the rest of the world. At this stage only Harvey Norman and JB HiFi are listed as official suppliers of Chromebooks in Australia, but only at selected locations; however this announcement will see that expand by the end of the year with Google announcing :
In Australia, all JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman stores will be carrying Chromebooks for their customers as well.
In practice we’ve found that because Harvey Norman owns both Domayne and Joyce Mayne, you can also purchase various Chromebooks at their stores. Enquiries at other retailers who supply Acer, Samsung and HP Laptops have found that while Acer and Samsung Chromebooks remain unavailable except to the authorised retailers, stores such as Officeworks and the GoodGuys can order in the HP Chromebook from as little as $330(Officeworks).
The announcement from Google this morning expands retail availability in the US to Walmart stores, who will begin selling an upgraded version of the Acer C7 as well as to Staples, who will begin selling a mix of HP, Samsung and Acer Chromebooks in their stores from this weekend. The US, is not the only market that’s expanding with the UK expanding to Tesco stores and other countries expanding their availability as well.
Google is apparently always looking to expand the availability of Chromebook and selected JB Hifi and Harvey Norman staff have received training on selling the devices so this training would likely be extended to any other retailers who come on board the retail program for Chromebooks. Expanded availability of Chromebooks is great for the platform and hopefully we may see that upgraded Acer C7 here in Australia soon.