While PCs continue to sell more than before the COVID-19 pandemic, demand is starting to decline. Technology market analysts Canalys and IDC said that in the third quarter of 2021, shipments of laptops, desktops, and tablets were 2 % below Q3 2020.
The sharpest decline was seen in Chromebooks, with a reported decline of 36.9 %. Demand for tablets also fell 15 % year-over-year, according to Canalys.
Data from Canalys mentioned that 5.8 million Chromebooks were shipped worldwide at that time, while IDC said the number was 6.5 million. Both analysts showed a massive decline compared to Q3 2020. Canalys reported a 36.9 % decline, while IDC pegged it at 29.8 %.
Q3 Chromebooks sales declined sharply as education markets in the U.S., Japan and Europe became saturated. There was also lower demand as government programs supporting distance learning also declined as people returned to work and studied on site.
After peaking at an 18 % market share at the start of the pandemic, Chromebooks reportedly represent only 9 % of laptop shipments in the third quarter of 2021.
IDC believes that the relaxation of pandemic restrictions around the world is causing more money to migrate away from Chromebooks and tablets.
However, Canalys remains optimistic that U.S. demand will return thanks to the FCC’s Emergency Connectivity Fund, a $7 billion program focused on distance learning and more debt-financed purchases in the first half of 2022.
According to Canalys, HP is no longer the top Chromebook seller, as shipments fell 66 % – more than any other vendor, leading Lenovo to clinch the top spot.
Prior to the third quarter of this year, tablets have enjoyed five consecutive quarters of growth, but saw a steep year-on-year decline of 15 % in Q3, per channel, or a decline of 9.4 % per IDC.
Nevertheless, according to Canalys, many companies are still selling more than before the pandemic. Apple, which holds 34.6 or 40.4 % of the tablet market share, sold around 15 million iPads in the third quarter. While growth is stagnating, IDC estimates that Apple will sell 4.6 % more in 2020 compared to the same quarter last year.