Tablet and Chromebook Demand Soars to New Highs Driven by Pandemic

Lenovo continued its lead in Q4 and the whole of 2020

It’s no secret that the pandemic driven disruption led to more demand for devices best suited for working, learning and at-home entertainment. But a recent report from Canalys paints a full-year picture of the pandemic’s impact in the desktop market in 2020, which includes tablets, traditional PCs, and Chromebooks.

The global pc market hit a new record in 2020, with shipments reaching a staggering 458.2 million units – up 17 per cent from 2019 – and a new five-year high. The three months to December, 31st saw shipments grow 35 per cent year-on-year to 143.7 million units.

Tablet demand hit an all-time high in Q4, with companies shipping 52.8 million units. Overall 160.6 million tablet units were shipped in 2020, 28 per cent higher than the year prior, with Apple cementing its market dominance.

The American tech company shipped 19.2 million iPads in the quarter, which is said to be its best quarterly iPad performance since Q4 2014.

The tablet market’s stellar performance was associated with its inexpensive pricing, making it easy for many to own one. Tablet versatility to suit different use cases also proved handy, Canalys says.

Chromebook market nearly quadrupled year-over-year, with Lenovo recording staggering 1766 per cent growth. Samsung’s Chromebook shipments grew 630 per cent to just over a million units, while market leader, HP, grew 235 per cent year-on-year.

Chromebook demand has been boosted by e-learning and affordability. By nature, Chromebooks are considered inexpensive and also easier to maintain.

For the whole of 2020, and in Q4, Lenovo finished at the top of the global PC market. Apple followed closely shipping 5.6 million units fewer units, but stellar iPad sales helped reduce the gap to Lenovo. Albeit posting double-digit shipment growth in Q4, HP, Dell and Samsung finished third, fourth and fifth, consecutively.

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Alvin Wanjala

Alvin Wanjala has been writing about technology for over 2 years. He writes about different topics in the consumer tech space. He loves streaming music, programming, and gaming during downtimes.

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