The global COVID-19 pandemic has affected PC shipments in unusual ways. Toward the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020, shipments of PCs, smartphones, and all sorts of other tech products slowed due to supply chain shortages (which still haven’t entirely gone away yet). But as many people around the world found themselves working from home or taking classes virtually, demand for devices like tablets and Chromebooks went way up, which led to massive growth in shipments in 2021.
But now that people are heading back to offices and schools? That trend seems to be reversing.
According to the latest numbers from IDC, Tablet shipments were roughly static between the first and second quarters of 2022, with a little over 40 million units shipped each quarter. But Chromebook shipments? They were down by 51.4 percent.
IDC says a total of 12.3 million Chromebooks were shipped in the second quarter of 2021, but only 6 million were shipped the following quarter.
|Top Five Chromebook Companies, Worldwide Shipments, Market Share, and Year-Over-Year Growth, Q2 2022 (Preliminary results, combined company view for the current quarter only, shipments in millions)|
|Company||2Q22 Shipments||2Q22 Market Share||2Q21 Shipments||2Q21 Market Share||Year-Over Year Growth|
|1. Dell Technologies||1.5||25.5%||1.8||14.7%||-15.5%|
|2. Acer Group||1.3||22.6%||1.9||15.4%||-28.9%|
|4. HP Inc.||0.9||15.6%||4.3||35.2%||-78.6%|
|Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, July 29, 2022|
While 6 million devices shipped represents a big drop, it’s worth noting that it’s still more than twice the number of Chromebooks that shipped in the first quarter of 2020, when the pandemic was just starting to take hold.
|Top Five Chromebook Companies, Worldwide Shipments, Market Share, and Year-Over-Year Growth, Q1 2021 (Preliminary results, combined company view for the current quarter only, shipments in millions)|
|Company||1Q21 Shipments||1Q21 Market Share||1Q20 Shipments||1Q20 Market Share||Year-Over Year Growth|
|1. HP Inc||4.4||33.5%||0.6||20.9%||633.9%|
|3. Acer Group||1.9||14.5%||0.8||26.4%||150.9%|
|4. Dell Technologies||1.5||11.3%||0.3||12.1%||327.1%|
|Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, April 29, 2021|
All told, things have changed so much (and so rapidly) in the past two years that it’s probably too soon to make any long-term predictions about what the new numbers mean for the future of Chromebooks.