Demand for low-end laptop CPUs plummets, and not because of the chip shortage

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,743   +140
Staff member
How did we get here? The pandemic prompted work- and learn-from-home orders worldwide, resulting in huge demand for affordable, education-focused models like Chromebooks. As we return to normal, demand for such products is quickly drying up. Still, not many expected it to be so sudden.

We now have further evidence pointing to a decline in the low-end laptop market.

Mercury Research (via PCMag) said the PC industry just experienced its biggest quarter-over-quarter decline in laptop CPU shipments. Shipments fell by more than 18 million units in the third quarter compared to the previous quarter, the PC component market research firm said.

Lower-end chips like Intel Celeron and AMD Athlon models were among those hit hardest by declining demand. Mercury Research President Dean McCarron described the scenario as the worst on-quarter downturn for mobile CPUs in the history of the PC CPU market.

In an e-mail to PCMag, McCarron said declining entry-level CPU shipments have no connection to the ongoing global chip shortage. Instead, he pointed to a reduction in demand for entry-level laptops like Google Chromebooks.

McCarron told PCMag that some pullback was expected, but the return to pre-Covid volumes was instantaneous rather than gradual.

Mercury’s findings jive with what we heard from Canalys earlier this week, when the firm said Chromebook shipments had dipped 52 percent quarter on quarter and 37 percent year over year, to 5.8 million units in Q3. Tablet shipments also fell 15 percent in the most recent quarter, to 37.7 million units.

Image credit: Ryan, Olena Sergienko

Permalink to story.

 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,202   +1,059
I bought a laptop a couple of years ago, it has a Ryzen 3500u, 8Gb of RAM, 1080p screen etc.

But I never use it, it just gathers dust. I use my iPad for everything instead and it’s so much better for my needs.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,661   +6,447
Google Classroom is a damn powerful piece of software and can cut the work of a teacher in half if used right. It actually forces the student to be more accountable and provides easy data to analyze - as well as makes it easier for parents to track student progress along with Kinvolved and IO classroom.

A Chromebook is really all they need - but what they want is more powerful, more expensive computers so they can play games on them.
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 641   +1,132
And these companies thought this was awesome, free extra money times forever!?!

A Chromebook or Samsung tablet or iPad tend to last most people for multiple years.

My 8 year old son has had a Samsung table for the past 2 years (going on 3 soon) and it still works like the day he got it.
My 13 year old daughter had been using the gen 4 iPad (the wife got it almost 8 years ago) for the past 18 months or so and just in the last 6 months it worked great, but now the screen is having issues so the iPad is coming close to its end of life.
My wife got a new iPad about 2 years ago and she continues to baby it - it should hopefully last her another 5+ years.

Those that picked up low cost tablets/laptops in the past 18 months aren't looking to upgrade or replace them anytime soon. Do these companies expect people to keep shelling out money and get a new one every year?
 

Wrinkle

Posts: 95   +72
Google won’t mind too much, Chromebooks were already doing pretty well before Covid.

And all is not lost since we'll be riding Covid wave 3 soon :/
 

Jpe1701

Posts: 86   +84
Will they have tpm 2 to run windows 11

I had to laugh one day because my cheapo chinese chuwi hi10xr with a celeron n4120 was compatible with windows 11 according to the pc health app but it said my desktop with a Ryzen 3900xt and x570 Aorus master wasn't. I just hadn't changed the settings for tpm in the bios.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 728   +534
Just in time- my son has an ipad for school - as he's now older they prefer a chromebook ( March 2022 new year start) .
TBF - assume most of the premium is in the built and screen , imagine with what Apple has accomplished - a lot of these will seem old in a few years - with new M like android chips coming ( unfortunately last in line at fab factory ) .
However they are great - to use as a utility - throw in car , throw in bag , abuse the hell out of - if broken or stolen - not too much money lost
 

NotAFanboyofAny

Posts: 7   +1
Will they have tpm 2 to run windows 11

You don't need TPM to run Windows 11, just two entries in the registry on setup window and you're good to go.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\LabConfig]
"BypassTPMCheck"=dword:00000001
"BypassSecureBootCheck"=dword:00000001
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,004   +2,007
So people abruptly stopped buying cheap laptops?
Cool. I didn't get much else from this. It's pretty vague.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,004   +2,007
You don't need TPM to run Windows 11, just two entries in the registry on setup window and you're good to go.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\LabConfig]
"BypassTPMCheck"=dword:00000001
"BypassSecureBootCheck"=dword:00000001
That comes with caveats we all know about.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,004   +2,007
And these companies thought this was awesome, free extra money times forever!?!

A Chromebook or Samsung tablet or iPad tend to last most people for multiple years.

My 8 year old son has had a Samsung table for the past 2 years (going on 3 soon) and it still works like the day he got it.
My 13 year old daughter had been using the gen 4 iPad (the wife got it almost 8 years ago) for the past 18 months or so and just in the last 6 months it worked great, but now the screen is having issues so the iPad is coming close to its end of life.
My wife got a new iPad about 2 years ago and she continues to baby it - it should hopefully last her another 5+ years.

Those that picked up low cost tablets/laptops in the past 18 months aren't looking to upgrade or replace them anytime soon. Do these companies expect people to keep shelling out money and get a new one every year?
You know the majority def don't buy a new laptop or computer or tablet every 18 months right? That would be crazy.

This is being described to us as something that has never happened before, and your argument holds no water.

The article is vague and you're creating unlikely scenarios. That's not constructive in any industry. I'm sure the answers are out there. I'd look myself, because they are not here, but this topic doesn't really interest me enough.
 
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Google Classroom is a damn powerful piece of software and can cut the work of a teacher in half if used right. It actually forces the student to be more accountable and provides easy data to analyze - as well as makes it easier for parents to track student progress along with Kinvolved and IO classroom.

A Chromebook is really all they need - but what they want is more powerful, more expensive computers so they can play games on them.
Add in Kami to Google Classroom to make even more perfect.
 

Crinkles

Posts: 202   +196
Google Classroom is a damn powerful piece of software and can cut the work of a teacher in half if used right. It actually forces the student to be more accountable and provides easy data to analyze - as well as makes it easier for parents to track student progress along with Kinvolved and IO classroom.

A Chromebook is really all they need - but what they want is more powerful, more expensive computers so they can play games on them.

Exactly. My family has had eight school-supplied computers, all portables, those eight went to the same two high schoolers. The current computers are fairly new and they'll be taken up in a few weeks, then they get another new one, for a new semester.

The funding for those is said to be - "the federal government" sent $ billions.
I think it's one of the best possible ways to spend taxes.
 

godrilla

Posts: 334   +160
My daughter declined the switch lite to get a PC last year. I could have gotten multiple products like a Chromebook and a console for gaming, but decided to get her a decent PC with apu that can do it all. Originally we got the Dell laptop with AMD Apu but weirdly the Intel wifi 6 antenna crapped out and luckily Costco replaced it with an HP 360 laptop with intel apu with iris graphics, so far so good. She does all her school work, plays her Sims 4 and Roblocks on it. ( last year it was perfect tool for remote learning)
I could have gotten a cheap laptop or notebook and upgrade every other year but I decided to get a decent one that will last for a few years.
Thank God the kids are back in school through! Poor kid sees school as summer camp now.
 

wiak

Posts: 75   +19
Isn't this just electronic waste?
it will last a year and then you need to buy a new laptop heh
then repeat
 
Companies (at least based on what I witnessed with my work and similar) scrambled to buy up laptops for their workforce so they could work from home.

They then realized the bargain deal they got couldn't run the software that was required for work, or could run it but taxed the laptop to it's absolute limit.

Once companies realized how demanding their software was, they had to move up to more powerful laptops
 

Hardware Geek

Posts: 417   +473
Companies (at least based on what I witnessed with my work and similar) scrambled to buy up laptops for their workforce so they could work from home.

They then realized the bargain deal they got couldn't run the software that was required for work, or could run it but taxed the laptop to it's absolute limit.

Once companies realized how demanding their software was, they had to move up to more powerful laptops
True story. Teams is a resource hog and really bogged down anything I work on with less than 16GB of ram. The computers we are upgrading to are middle and high end laptops because i3 and below is just too slow.
 

Crinkles

Posts: 202   +196
Companies (at least based on what I witnessed with my work and similar) scrambled to buy up laptops for their workforce so they could work from home.

They then realized the bargain deal they got couldn't run the software that was required for work, or could run it but taxed the laptop to it's absolute limit.
Weaksauce sold many newer, more improved more expensive units.
Once companies realized how demanding their software was, they had to move up to more powerful laptops

Any video chat messenger. Lol