2020 was a rough year for many, but it turned out to be one of the best years ever for Chromebook shipments. Following that high, though, Chromebook numbers have dropped dramatically in Q3 2021.

Canalys reports today that Chromebook shipments in Q3 2021 have dropped by roughly 37% year-over-year.

This comes after reports from earlier this year revealed that Chromebook growth had exploded by 275% during the pandemic, primarily fueled by education-related purchases in the US and abroad. By July, growth had slowed considerably but still led the industry.

Now, things have really slowed down with Chromebook shipments totaling 5.8 million during Q3 2021. This also resulted in Chromebooks accounting for just 9% of the notebook market, half the share they’ve maintained through the first half of 2021 and the lowest number since before the COVID-19 pandemic began. The steep drop is attributed to major Chromebook markets, the US and Japan, reaching their “saturation point.”

The Chromebook market was hit by a massive downturn, with a 37% year-on-year fall in shipments (52% quarter on quarter) in Q3. This comes as major education markets such as the US and Japan reach saturation point, with public sector funding of digital education programs slowing. The Chromebook market has grown tremendously since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as students have been forced to adapt to new learning settings.  

Looking at individual companies in the Chromebook marketplace, HP saw the biggest hit with shipments dropping by 66%, and Lenovo taking over the top slot with 24% overall marketshare and shipments that dropped by just over 20%. Acer and Dell also saw considerable drops in shipments, while Asus only saw a minor impact.

Google and its partners have started to expand Chromebooks beyond those two primary markets. As one example, Asus launched several Chromebook models in India earlier this year, putting more emphasis on the market than it had in years past.

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