Chromebook Shipments Slowdown in 2021 After Covid Boost

When the pandemic first started in the early months of 2020, a lot of people had to start adjusting to a new type of reality wherein they would need to start working from home for the most part. This was something that many people were not prepared for, and quite a few remote workers had to buy laptops quickly and they ideally wanted something affordable since the pandemic also created a massive income crunch and caused some truly widespread financial and economic problems.

This allowed Chromebooks to see a massive surge in popularity during that year. While this growth continued somewhat into 2021, there was also a bit of a slowdown in demand with growth rates starting to decrease during that year. The fourth quarter of 2021 actually saw a decrease in total Chromebook shipments which came as a bit of a surprise since most pieces of tech that see strong sales throughout the year get a surge in total sales during the fourth quarter as this is when the Christmas shopping season rolls around.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, around 13 million Chromebook units were sold worldwide. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, Chromebook sales in Q4 2021 failed to cross five million. That represents a staggering 63% year on year decrease, and the biggest players in the market happened to be hit the worst.

HP was the worst impacted, with its total Chromebook sales crashing from 3.5 million in Q4 2020 to just 500,000 in Q4 2021, representing an 86.7% plummet in shipments. Lenovo and Dell also had bad quarters, seeing a 73.5% and 63.6% year over year decline respectively. While Acer also saw a 43.3% decline, it had less of a hard time than some of the others which has resulted in it supplanting HP at the top of the list for the quarter. However, HP is still the dominant Chromebook player of 2021, since the year went well for them generally. Also, Acer’s less terrible fourth quarter didn’t stop them from having the lowest rate of growth annually except for Dell which saw a 5.2% decrease in Chromebook shipments.
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