The explosive growth in sales of Chromebooks, which was launched by the coronavirus pandemic and the transition to remote work and study, has come to an end. While the global PC market grew 1% year-on-year in the third quarter, Chromebook shipments were down 17%, according to Gartner.
Analysts say this is the first time this category of mobile computers has seen such a downturn since its market debut in 2011. Times are tough for Chromebooks, according to Gartner, as the US market, where these devices have been most in demand, is almost saturated. It is reported that soon almost every student in the United States will have a Chromebook, Windows / Linux laptop or MacBook, which will certainly slow the pace of market growth.
Although the third quarter is a traditionally lucrative return-to-school season for PC makers, shipments of both traditional laptops and Chromebooks in the US declined 10% over the period. Overall, the US PC market shrank 8.8% year on year to 21.548 million units.
Chromebook sales reached 30.77 million units in 2020, according to Gartner. In 2019, 16.5 million Chromebooks were sold. By comparison, Apple sold 22.5 million Macs last year. Although sales of Chromebooks grew in all regions, the United States was the fastest growing.
Analysts point out that the decline in the Chromebook market is partly due to low demand for these devices outside the education industry. Given the shortage of semiconductors, computer makers are undoubtedly redistributing chips in demand against Chromebooks.