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Global Laptop Market: Chromebook Sales Hit 5-Year Low: What It Means For The Global Laptop Market & More

the Chromebook shipments hit a five-year low in the first three months (Jan-Feb-March Q1-2022) according to a recent report by research firm Strategy Analytics. Chromebooks are affordable laptops powered by Google’s ChromeOS. Consumer upgrades for Chromebooks were at an all-time low even from pre-pandemic levels during the quarter. According to the report, ChromeOS shipments suffered as demand for education continued to slow. “Chromebook business is very small but still very important to major vendors as they maintain good inventory ahead of the start of Q2 2022 education demand in major markets. Chromebook is still impacting new markets, albeit slowly as the public sector seeks to spend on cheaper devices for education,” said Chirag Upadhyay, industry analyst, Strategy Analytics.
Incidentally, while the Chromebook market has seen a steep drop, the total laptop market is down just 7% from a year ago. Demand for commercial business devices remained strong, driving sales of Windows 11 PCs and MacBook powered by M1 chipset. According to the report, “Most enterprise and SMB customers are still choosing hybrid work options and spending more on quality products. Dell and Apple are good examples of market growth segments: high-end Windows laptops range and MacBooks with the M1″ chipset.
Pandemic lessons for PC companies
The report adds that lessons learned from the pandemic are weighing heavily on consumer and business purchasing decisions and as hybrid working becomes the norm, the need for mobile productivity remains high. The flip side of fewer COVID restrictions around the world means education budgets have shifted away from IT spending, creating an unfavorable year-over-year comparison with total shipments down by -7% in the first quarter of 2022.
Performance of the Top 5 PC Vendors
*Lenovo leads the ranking with 23% market share. The company shipped (sold) 14.4 million units in the fourth quarter of 2021 (calendar year), representing a growth decline of -12%
* HP was the hardest hit in the first quarter of the year, as its market share fell below 20.0% for the first time since the first quarter of 2016. The company’s laptop shipments fell declined -20% year-over-year in the quarter to 12.5 million units.
*Dell was the only leading vendor to grow more than 5% year-over-year. The company sold 10.5 million units during the first quarter.
* Apple MacOS maintained the momentum of the past two quarters. The company’s shipments reached 6.1 million MacBooks in the first quarter, up 4% from the first quarter of 2021.
* Acer maintained its 5th place globally in the first quarter with 4.7 million laptops shipped. Overall, it was down -5% year over year.