While PC sales fell about 11 percent in Q2 2013, Google Chromebook sales continue to grow and now represent roughly 20 to 25 percent of the U.S. market for laptops priced under $300, NDP Group estimates. That sounds impressive -- but what are the actual Chromebook sales figures? And is anybody making a buck off the cloud-centric notebooks? Hmmm...

First, let's give Chromebooks some props for finding a niche while the PC market has been tanking.

  • For Q2 2013, Gartner said PC shipments fell 10.9 percent. IDC thinks the drop was 11.4 percent. Either way the figures are depressing, especially since Windows 8 was supposed to give the PC industry a lift.
  • Meanwhile, Chromebooks gained about a quarter of low-end (sub-$300) U.S. PC market sales.

Sounds impressive. But nobody is really saying how many Chromebook units are shipping and in use. Perhaps the best data comes from NetMarketShare, which in April 2013 estimated that web traffic from Chromebooks was roughly 2/100 of 1 percent. Or as ZDNet estimated in early 2013, Chromebooks two years after launch had a smaller percentage of usage than Windows RT earned as of January 2013, after only three months of RT on the market.

Those figures are a bit depressing. But The VAR Guy remains upbeat. Chromebooks are catching on within universities and in the education market. And many Google Apps resellers and cloud services brokerages (CSBs) now support Chromebooks. Companies like Cloud Sherpas come to mind.

Meanwhile, the number of PC makers offering Chromebooks continues to grow -- Acer, HP, Lenovo and Samsung each continue to offer the cloud notebooks.

And yes, The VAR Guy is a Chromebook user. But just because our resident blogger is on the Chromebook bandwagon that doesn't mean the devices have gone mainstream. Or have they?