While the statistics we’re going to talk about should come as no surprise to anyone amidst a global pandemic that has forced working and learning from home, they are still interesting to watch unfold here in 2020. It doesn’t seem like that long ago we were all talking about the death of the laptop and and arrival of the tablet. However, as time has rolled on, the laptop seems completely unwilling to die, and Chromebooks have a bit to do with that trend.
Sure, traditional PC sales are growing and saw “the strongest consumer PC demand that Gartner has seen in 5 years,” according to Gartner research director Kikako Kitagawa. With shipments totaling 71.4 million units in Q3 of 2020 and showing a 3.6% increased when compared with Q3 of 2019, it is clear that laptops are trending upward in the face of supply issues and manufacturing woes caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Meanwhile, Chromebook growth skyrocketed as more companies are finding Chrome OS a suitable solution for enterprise deployment and the majority of schools leverage Chromebooks both in and out of the classroom. Though Gartner doesn’t include Chromebook shipments along with traditional PC (Windows/Mac/Linux) market results, they did report that Chromebooks sales grew by approximately 90% in Q3 of 2020 compared to Q3 2019.
With these stats, it is now estimated that Chromebooks command around 11% of the total PC/Chromebook market according to Gartner. Sure, Chromebooks dominate the classroom, but it seems the growth is now expanding outside of that realm as well. 11% is no staggering number, but it shows growth beyond schools and into market segments like enterprise and general consumer purchasing. It is no surprise that we have an unprecedented number of new Chromebooks in the works as we speak and expect to see an absolute explosion of new Chrome OS devices across all Chromebook segments in Q4 of 2020 and into the first half of 2021. It’s going to be a wild ride over the next six months, so stay tuned.