Chromebook boom won’t survive COVID-19 pandemic, says IDC • The Register


Chromebook sales will continue to rise in 2021, but as the COVID-19 pandemic recedes, bettors will decide they have more exciting ways to spend their money.

That’s what analyst firm IDC says in a forecast released as part of its Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker.

The analyst team predicts that Chromebook sales will grow 33.5% in 2021, with 43.4 million units coming off production lines. Come 2022, and the company predicts that sales will decline. That’s quite a reversal from the 275% growth of rival analyst firm Canalys recorded for Chromebooks in 2020.

The outlook is worse for tablets. IDC predicts that while sales of these devices will increase by 1.8% in 2021, this is well below the double-digit growth recorded in 2020.

“Sales of tablets and Chromebooks increased significantly in 2020 due to unprecedented demand for remote work and learning solutions,” said Anuroopa Nataraj, analyst in the Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers team of IDC, adding that the demand for versatile and affordable devices suitable for “hybrid work and learning applications will remain high in 2021.

In 2022, however, punters will want to spend their hard-earned money elsewhere.

“Beyond 2021, the two categories will continue to struggle, as consumer and education demand is expected to slow,” Nataraj wrote. “With the easing of lockdown restrictions, consumers will begin to increase their spending on travel and other entertainment, which in turn will impact the growth of these devices.”

IDC Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker June 2021

IDC Forecast for Chromebook and Tablet.

Click to enlarge

As Chromebook sales collapse, IDC says the devices have found a niche in “features where high performance and legacy support are not a priority.”

The company has predicted Chromebook sales will return to growth in 2021, but tablet sales are expected to decline for years to come. ®


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