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.

Acer Chromebook Spin 514

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)
Company2Q22 Shipments2Q22 Market Share2Q21 Shipments2Q21 Market ShareYear-Over Year Growth
1. Dell Technologies1.525.5%1.814.7%-15.5%
2. Acer Group1.322.6%1.915.4%-28.9%
3. Lenovo1.219.4%2.520.4%-54.0%
4. HP Inc.0.915.6%4.335.2%-78.6%
5. Samsung0.46.2%0.97.0%-57.3%
Others0.610.8%0.97.2%-27.0%
Total6.0100.0%12.3100.0%-51.4%
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)
Company1Q21 Shipments1Q21 Market Share1Q20 Shipments1Q20 Market ShareYear-Over Year Growth
1. HP Inc4.433.5%0.620.9%633.9%
2. Lenovo3.325.6%0.725.6%356.2%
3. Acer Group1.914.5%0.826.4%150.9%
4. Dell Technologies1.511.3%0.312.1%327.1%
5. Samsung1.08.0%0.26.1%496.0%
Others0.97.2%0.38.9%267.2%
Total13.0100.0%2.8100.0%357.1%
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.

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