Consumers, commercial clients, and schools -- all looking for technology to stay productive and entertained through the COVID-19 pandemic -- pushed global notebook sales up by 27% in Q2 compared to the year prior, according to Strategy Analytics. Lenovo and HP were the top vendors in the quarter, accounting for half of all notebook sales.
Other research firms like IDC and Gartner previously reported that PC sales had bounced back in Q2, following a COVID-related drop in Q1 shipments. Overall PC shipment growth was more modest -- the new data underscores the popularity of notebooks in particular.
"The biggest surprise of the quarter was the robust demand generated from consumers buying their own devices for work, studying, and play despite tough economic headwinds," Eric Smith, director of Connected Computing for Strategy Analytics, said in a statement. "Gaming proved to be an effective distraction in a physically isolated world. Chromebooks, in particular, experienced high demand from schools and consumers to support e-learning efforts."
Citing the surging popularity of Chromebooks, Google earlier in the week released new tools and resources for developers, encouraging them to build more applications optimized for large-screen Chrome OS devices.
Lenovo grew its global notebook sales by 17% in Q2, reaching 13.6 million shipments. HP notebook sales grew a whopping 42% year-over-year to hit 13.4 millon shipments. That gave Lenovo 25% market share and HP 24.8% market share.
Dell was the third-most popular vendor with 8.4 million notebooks shipped, followed by Apple at 4.6 million units. Acer placed fifth with 3.6 million units sold, growing shipments by 41%.
All told, consumers purchased 54.2 million notebooks in Q2, Strategy Analytics said.
It remains to be seen, the research firm said, whether the quarterly results represent a new, longer-term interest in notebooks or whether the typical seasonal demand that comes during the back-to-school sales and the holidays was simply pulled forward.