Chromebooks dominate worldwide PC market with 75% annual growth

Lenovo led the total PC market, with growth of 23% and 24.7 million units shipped.

A new report from Canalys found that Chromebooks have outperformed the rest of the industry product categories with a 75% annual growth and a shipment volume of 11.9 million units in Q2. 

ZDNet Recommends

The best Chromebook laptops

Our pick of the best Chromebooks for work, school, and home.

Read More

Overall, the worldwide PC market posted a growth in shipments of 10% to 121.7 million units, according to Canalys data. 

Growth in the tablet market waned in Q2, with a total increase of just 4% year-on-year to 39.1 million units.

Vendors of Chromebook invested further into the product category after the Q2 success. HP also had a successful quarter with shipments of 4.3 million units and growth of 116% in Q2.

Lenovo came in second place after shipping 2.6 million units, an increase of 82% from a year ago. Acer was not far behind with a growth of 83.0% and 1.8 million units shipped. Both Dell and Samsung also made it into the top five but Samsung was the only top vendor to see declines in shipments. 

Brian Lynch, research analyst at Canalys, said the success of Chromebooks is proving to be remarkably resilient, noting that their growth streak has extended well beyond the height of the pandemic.

Lynch explained that the company has cemented a healthy position across all end-user segments in the industry. 

"Even as key markets like North America and Western Europe have seen schools begin to open up, shipments remain elevated as governments and education ecosystems plan for the long-term integration of Chromebooks within digital learning processes," Lynch said. 

"With Chrome's hold over the education space relatively secure, Google is set to bet big on the commercial segment this year. We expect to see a strong focus on attracting small businesses with updated services, such as the new 'Individual' subscription tier for Google Workspace and promotions on CloudReady licenses to repurpose old PCs for deployment alongside existing Chromebook fleets." 

Lynch did note that Apple is looking to expand its M1 success into the commercial space and Microsoft will be launching Windows 11 later this year, meaning the PC OS race is set to be "the most hotly contested it has been in a long time."

screen-shot-2021-07-29-at-10-41-28-am.png

Canalys

Lenovo dominated the total PC market, which includes desktops, notebooks, and tablets. The company saw growth of 23% with 24.7 million units shipped. Apple was in second place after shipping 20.6 million units and posting a growth of 5%. 

HP grew the least of the top five, posting increases of 2.7% with shipments of 18.6 million units. Dell and Samsung rounded out the top five, as they did in Q1. 

When it comes to tablets, Apple led the way with 14.2 million iPads shipped in Q2. All vendors saw higher shipment levels compared to pre-pandemic times, with Samsung increasing its shipments 13.8% to 8 million units shipped. 

Lenovo saw massive growth with tablets, expanding 78% and shipping 4.7 million units. Amazon and Huawei were also in the top five.

Canalys research analyst Himani Mukka said this was the fifth consecutive quarter of year-on-year growth for the tablet market and the industry has many reasons to be optimistic for the future. 

"Even as consumer demand for tablets undergoes an inevitable slowdown in the coming quarters, there are exciting developments to be seen in commercial deployments. Canalys expects to see stronger integration between the tablet and PC, allowing for smoother workflow transitions between multiple devices, which is especially attractive to those operating under hybrid and on-the-go work styles." Mukka said. 

"This will certainly be the case for iPads and Macs, but the introduction of Windows 11 on cloud, and its usage on devices that can run Android bodes well for tablet vendors, users, and developers beyond the Apple ecosystem."