Chromebook demand is plummeting as the pandemic eases

Enlarge / The 2020 Samsung Galaxy Chromebook, which had a 4K OLED show.


A world deceleration of laptop computer gross sales is being linked in a new report from market analysis agency Trendforce to growing vaccination charges and a corresponding lower in distant work and distant studying. In keeping with the findings, demand for Chromebooks slid by over 50 p.c throughout one month since July. And pocket book shipments for the rest of the yr are anticipated to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the shifting demand from companies.

Trendforce mentioned that curiosity for ChromeOS-powered laptops throughout the final yr had primarily been pushed by distant studying. The analyst pointed to rising vaccination charges in North America, Europe, and Japan all through the second half of 2021 as just lately slowing demand for Chromebooks.

After being a “major driver” of general laptop computer shipments within the first half of 2021, Chromebook shipments dropped by over 50 p.c throughout one month within the second half of the yr. And since Chromebooks symbolize a “comparatively excessive share” of HP’s and Samsung’s general laptop computer shipments, the OEMs’ shipments are predicted to fall by 10 to twenty p.c from the primary half of the yr to the second half.

Nonetheless, it’s not all downhill from right here for Chromebooks—Trendforce nonetheless expects a complete of 36 million gadgets shipped in 2021.

“The US FCC launched the Emergency Connectivity Fund, which totals US$7.17 billion, in July with a view to facilitate the acquisition of such gear as notebooks, tablets, and community connectivity gadgets by colleges and libraries,” Trendforce mentioned. “This fund will possible maintain the demand for Chromebooks for the subsequent yr.”

Laptop shipments are expected to hit 240 million this year.

Laptop computer shipments are anticipated to hit 240 million this yr.

General, Trendforce thinks laptop computer shipments will see a 16.4 p.c year-over-year enhance in 2021 for a complete of 240 million programs.

This autumn in query

At greatest, This autumn shipments will probably be on par with Q3’s numbers, Trendforce predicted. However one drawback This autumn has in comparison with Q3 is that the latter’s numbers have been aided by laptop computer manufacturers hurrying to get This autumn shipments out early with a view to keep away from port visitors. The return of employees to places of work in North America and Europe is fueling demand, however the researcher is not sure if the industrial laptop computer pattern will probably be as robust in This autumn because it was in Q3.

If industrial demand does proceed trending upward, Dell needs to be completely happy, because it sees a better market share from its industrial laptops than “another model,” in accordance with Trendforce. The analysis agency expects Dell’s industrial laptop computer shipments to develop by 20 p.c from H1 to H2.

Laptop computer shipments in This autumn are additionally anticipated to get a lift from individuals upgrading with a view to get pleasure from issues like Intel’s next-gen CPUs or Windows 11, which debuts subsequent week (though, keep in mind, you don’t want to purchase a brand new PC to improve to Home windows 11). Nevertheless, last numbers may even be impacted with the place the world is with the COVID-19 pandemic.

All of the whereas, the laptop computer provide chain continues to be slowed down by restricted parts inventory, together with built-in circuits for Wi-Fi modules, USB Sort-C energy supply, and energy administration. Moreover, 14- and 15.6-inch screens utilizing IPS panels and 1920×1080 decision are additionally restricted. The excellent news is that lower-resolution TN panels in these sizes are beginning to meet demand, whereas 11.6-inch panels are getting cheaper. Trendforce predicted that pocket book panel provide and demand will attain “equilibrium” in This autumn.

Come 2022, vaccinations needs to be much more prevalent, and Trendforce believes laptop computer shipments will lower 7 to eight p.c, yr on yr, to an estimated 220 million items. Even when that trendline factors down, word that is nonetheless an enchancment over the 160 million items shipped in 2019 forward of the pandemic.

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