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Chromebook shipments plummet from their 2021 heights in the latest PC market figures

Is the Chromebook's heyday over already? (Source: Lenovo)
Is the Chromebook's heyday over already? (Source: Lenovo)
Canalys' latest report on the PC market concludes that its shipments dropped during the first quarter of 2021 (1Q2021), albeit only by about 3%. When broken down by type, the research suggests that Chromebooks were responsible for this contraction. Then again, there were some positive signs, such as tablet sales that took off in Asia-Pacific during the quarter.

2021 may have been the year of the Chromebook, as consumers flocked to their order pages to address a sudden need to get a school- or work-friendly PC into their home. However, now that the effects of the worldwide pandemic are abating in many regions, it seems the same buyers have no intention of upgrading these devices.

Canalys has found that shipments in this sector declined by 59.7% year-on-year in 1Q2021. The sudden drop in sales has affected every major OEM in the space. Its leader Lenovo has seen shipments drop by 62.3% compared to 1Q2020, while those of HP (in fourth place) shrank by 82.2% YoY. Then again, total Chromebook shipments remain high compared to those of 2020.

Global tablet sales dropped by 3%, even though they grew by 42% in APAC and by 5% in North America YoY for 1Q2021. has posted growth in the sectorunable to replicate the success they enjoyed in early 2021. Its sector's rankings by OEM remained more or less consistent; Amazon did leapfrog Lenovo into third place, if only due to the abilty to drive Fire-series sales thanks to attractive deals.

Despite its slight retreat, Canalys is somewhat bullish on tablets, as consumers may now see them as accessible and versatile routes to PC use-cases. The group concluded that the market as a whole (including desktops and laptops) shrank by 3% - however, others such as IDC assert that it did so by just over 5% instead, whereas Gartner has arrived at a reduction of 7.3%.

These findings have led to speculation that the recent PC market boom may be coming to an end. Then again, it may be too early to say that for sure: performance for the rest of 2022 could yet see a boost should the year see events such as, say, the launch of new iPads or M2-based machines from market leaders Apple. In addition, Canalys notes that the market's total shipments for 1Q2022 (~118.6 milllion worldwide) still exceed pre-pandemic levels, and that demand from business customers remains "healthy".

More stats from a fresh PC market report. (Source: Canalys)
More stats from a fresh PC market report. (Source: Canalys)

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 05 > Chromebook shipments plummet from their 2021 heights in the latest PC market figures
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2022-05- 5 (Update: 2022-05- 5)