global laptop market: Chromebook market hits 5-year low: What this means for the global laptop market and more

The Chromebook shipments hit a five-year low in the first three months (January-February-March Q1-2022) as per recent report from research firm Strategy Analytics. Chromebooks are afforadable laptops powered by Google’s ChromeOS. The consumer upgrades for Chromebooks were at the lowest point, even compared to pre-pandemic levels during the quarter. As per the report, ChromeOS shipments suffered as education demand continued to slow down. “The Chromebook business is very small but remains very important for top vendors, as they are keeping good inventory before education demand kicks off in Q2 2022 in main markets. Chromebook is still making an impact in new markets albeit slowly as the public sector look to spend towards cheaper devices for education,” said Chirag Upadhyay, industry analyst, Strategy Analytics.
Incidentally, while the Chromebook market saw a steep fall, the total notebook market was only down 7% compared to last year. The demand for commercial business devices stayed strong which in turn boosted sales of Windows 11 PCs and MacBooks powered by M1 chipset. This the report says is “as most enterprise and SMB clients are still choosing hybrid work options and spending extra for quality products. Dell and Apple were good examples of the growth segments of the market: premium Windows notebooks and MacBooks with the M1 chipset.”
Pandemic lessons for PC companies
The report adds that lessons learned from the pandemic weigh heavily on consumer and commercial buying decisions and as hybrid work becomes the norm, the need for mobile productivity remains high. The flipside of fewer COVID restrictions around the world means that education budgets have turned away from IT expenditures, which created an unfavorable year-to-year comparison with total shipments declining -7% in Q1 2022.
How the top 5 PC vendors performed
* Lenovo topped the table with 23% market share. The company shipped (sell-in) 14.4 million units in Q4 2021 (calendar year), representing -12% growth decline
* HP took the biggest hit during the first quarter of the year as its market share dropped below 20.0% for the first time since Q1 2016. The notebook PC shipments of the company were down -20% year-over-year during the quarter to 12.5 million units.
* Dell was the only top vendor to have registered over 5% growth year-over-year. The company shaipped 10.5 million units during the first quarter.
* Apple MacOS carried the momentum from last two quarters. The company’s shipments reached 6.1 million MacBooks during the first quarter, a 4% growth from Q1 2021.
* Acer retained its the 5th spot globally during Q1 with 4.7 million notebook PCs shipped. Over all, it saw -5% decline year-over-year.

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