In a nutshell: Although shipments remain higher than before the pandemic, global PC sales, including tablets, fell two percent year on year to 122.1 million units. Due to cutting education spending, Google’s Chromebook division is one of the hardest hit categories.
According to Canalys, despite a slight drop in Q3 2021 sales, global PC industry shipments are well ahead of pre-COVID levels, with a two-year CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 10 percent compared to Q3 2019. …
However, sales of tablets and Chromebooks did not go well. Both segments have experienced decline after several quarters of consistent growth. Tablet shipments fell 15 percent year-on-year to 37.7 million units, while Chromebooks suffered an even sharper downturn, with sales dropping 37 percent (52 percent QoQ), bringing total Chromebook shipments to 5. 8 million units in the third quarter.
Canalys speculated that tablet shipments fell simply due to declining use cases by consumers and educational institutions in many regions. Meanwhile, declining US education spending, in addition to returning students to classroom learning, has caused demand for Chromebooks to decline.
However, Canalys noted that Chrome has expanded its user base significantly over the past year and a half, and therefore will have “a lot more room to upgrade due to this growth.” They also highlighted Google’s significant investment in the corporate market in 2021 as the search giant “tries to expand its horizons beyond its safe position in education.”
Lenovo maintained its leadership in the PC industry while increasing its market share by more than one percent with 24.4 million units shipped. It was followed by Apple with a five percent growth rate, resulting in 23 million Mac and iPad series units sold.
HP bore the brunt of the supply constraints with a six percent cut in annual shipments. In fourth place, Dell managed to avoid supply chain bottlenecks with a 27% increase in shipments, helping to increase its market share by nearly 3%. Samsung closes the top five.
Unsurprisingly, 2020 saw the fastest growth in PC shipments in 10 years, driven primarily by the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. While performance in this market may continue to decline, global gaming PC sales, in particular, are expected to grow at an accelerated pace, with a projected upward trend over the next few years until 2025.