According to the latest global PC market report from research firm Canalys, PC makers shipped 458.2 million computers in 2020, up 17 percent from shipments in 2019.

Much of that growth came in the fourth quarter of the year, with a total of 143.7 million units shipped, up 35-percent from the same period a year earlier.

And a lot of that growth came from two product categories: Chromebooks and tablets.  Canalys says both saw record high shipments in the end of 2020.

Tablet shipments, for example hit 52.8 million in the fourth quarter, led by Apple’s iPad line of devices. PC makers shipped 11.2 million Chromebooks during that period. At first, that number might seem pretty modest by comparison, but here’s the thing – tablet shipments were up 28 percent year-over-year. But Chromebook shipments? They were up a whopping 287 percent.

Canalys says Chromebook demand is on the rise due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has many students working from home and many schools and governments trying to provide students with devices if they don’t already have the technology necessary for remote schooling.

According to the report, HP moved more Chromebooks during the fourth quarter than any other company, with 3.5 million units shipped. Lenovo, Acer, Dell, and Samsung rounded things out, with Asus slipping to sixth place.

Worldwide Chromebook shipments (market share and annual growth)
Canalys PC Market Pulse Q4 2020
Vendor (company)Q4 2020
shipments
Q4 2020
market share
Q4 2019
shipments
Q4 2019
market share
Annual
growth
HP3.532%1.137%235%
Lenovo2.825%0.25%1766%
Dell1.513%0.312%317%
Acer1.413%0.828%76%
Samsung1.09%0.15%630%
Others0.99%0.413%146%
Total11.2100%2.9100.0%287%
Note: Unit shipments in millions. Numbers may not add up to due to rounding.

Source: Canalys PC Analysis (sell-in shipments), January 2021

Apple, meanwhile, dominates the tablet market with 19.2 million units shipped in Q4, which gives the company a 36 percent market share. Samsung, Amazon, Lenovo, and Huawei round out the top five.

Worldwide tablet shipments (market share and annual growth)
Canalys PC Market Pulse Q4 2020
Vendor (company)Q4 2020
shipments
Q4 2020
market share
Q4 2019
shipments
Q4 2019
market share
Annual
growth
Apple19.236%13.740%40%
Samsung9.919%7.121%41%
Amazon6.512%4.212%54%
Lenovo5.611%2.57%125%
Huawei3.57%4.513%-24%
Others8.115%2.37%257%
Total52.8100%34.3100%54%
Note: Unit shipments in millions. Numbers may not add up due to rounding.

Source: Canalys PC Analysis (sell-in shipments), January 2021

And when it comes to overall PC shipments (which includes Chromebooks, tablets, and traditional PCs), Lenovo is at the head of the pack, followed by Apple, HP, Dell, and Samsung.

Worldwide PC (including tablet) shipments (market share and annual growth)
Canalys PC Market Pulse Q4 2020
Vendor (company)Q4 2020
shipments
Q4 2020
market share
Q4 2019
shipments
Q4 2019
market share
Annual
growth
Lenovo28.820%20.419%41%
Apple26.418%18.618%42%
HP19.313%17.216%12%
Dell15.911%12.412%28%
Samsung11.58%7.47%55%
Others41.929%30.028%39%
Total143.7100%106.1100.0%35%
Note: Unit shipments in millions. Numbers may not add up due to rounding.

Source: Canalys PC Analysis (sell-in shipments), January 2021

One thing to keep in mind is that it’s not necessarily a given that everyone even considers Chromebooks and tablets to be PCs. Canalys includes both in its global PC shipment reports, as some of the company’s competitors exclude one or the other.

You can find more details at the Canalys website.

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  1. My 13.3 inch Asus C300SA Chromebook is my daily driver. I paid less than $200 for it brand new 3 years ago and it’s still going strong. I can’t see spending 5 times as much for an overpriced WinTel Ultrabook with the same size 13.3 inch screen. I also have a Samsung Chrome book 3 with an 11.6 inch screen and better specs. i paid about the same price for the Samsung. But I use the Asus more often because so like the screen size better.