COVID-19 has had a lot of negative effects on the market, but it’s been great for the PC market as millions of people transitioned to working and learning from home. As a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chromebook market in particular exploded with growth over 4x.

As reported by Canalys this week, Q4 2020 saw the Chromebook market at an all-time high. Specifically, shipping just over 11 million units in this past quarter compared to about 2.5 million in the same time in 2019. Over the course of 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chromebook market as a whole saw over 30 million units shipped.

Breaking down that number, Lenovo was the biggest winner. The company still fell short of HP’s 3.5 million units shipped, but the 2.8 million Lenovo Chromebooks shipped in Q4 2020 represented a massive 1,766% growth. Samsung, Asus, Acer, and Dell all saw steady, triple-digit growth as well during the pandemic but didn’t gain any traction compared to competitors. Canalys Research Director Rushabh Doshi said:

Demand for Chromebooks is through the roof. With many countries being forced to accelerate their digital education plans in the wake of additional lockdowns, schools and universities are clamoring for easy to deploy solutions and Google’s digital offerings for education are proving quite popular over rival platforms, especially in the US and Western Europe. With governments in many countries racing toward a much needed 1:1 device to student ratio, Chromebook demand for education is expected to remain strong through 2021. Outside education, there has also been mounting interest from consumers and traditional commercial customers in seeking out Chromebooks to ensure affordable continuity of business or personal computing.

This came alongside growth for tablets as well, bringing that market to its highest peak since 2015 with just shy of 53 million tablets shipped in Q4 2020 alone. Apple, of course dominated that market with its excellent iPad lineup, but Samsung had a strong second place with nearly the same 40% growth YoY. The overall PC market also saw a 35% jump year-over-year as a result of the pandemic, but clearly a lot of that focus was on Chromebooks, likely due to the affordable price points.

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Ben Schoon

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