Global laptop shipments almost doubled in Q1, with Chromebooks outpacing MacBooks and...

nanoguy

Posts: 798   +12
Staff member
In context: We already knew the PC market had been growing fast in the last few quarters, with demand remaining strong and chip shortages threatening supply. According to the latest figures from Strategy Analytics, laptops are a big part of that surge, and Chromebooks in particular have seen unprecedented growth.

The sudden shift to working and studying from home contributed to the largest rebound of the PC market in a decade, and greatly improved the bottom line of manufacturers, who are now struggling to meet demand. Laptops sales have been so high that they've also revealed a weakness in the supply chain, as earlier this year companies like Lenovo warned that their stock is running dry.

Despite the ongoing global shortage of chips, including for $1 display driver chips and other essential components for laptops, the first quarter of 2021 saw no less than 37.8 million units shipped around the world to consumers and businesses.

That's an 81 percent year-over-year growth. It's also higher than the overall PC market surge of 55 percent year-over-year.

Strategy Analytics director Eric Smith notes that manufacturers were able to fulfill large laptop orders even before their expected delivery date. This is an interesting observation, given that some cryptocurrency miners have been panic buying RTX Ampere laptops to get around the GPU shortage, while schools all over the world have been snapping up Chromebooks at an unprecedented rate.

Lenovo retains the top spot in terms of units shipped, almost doubling the sales it recorded in the same quarter last year. The company sold over 16 million laptops, growing its market share to just a hair under 24 percent. HP and Dell took the following two spots with 15.4 million units and 10 million units, respectively, but the latter saw a smaller year-over-year increase of 37 percent, while its share of the overall notebook market has decreased from 19.2 percent to 14.6 over the last 12 months.

Apple has also been gaining ground, shipping an estimated 5.7 million units in the three months ending in March. The Cupertino company reported record Mac revenue for that time period of $9.1 billion. If the 5.7 million unit figure is accurate that comes down to an average selling price of almost $1,600 per Mac.

Chromebook sales grew 174 percent year-over-year and totaled 12.1 million units, outpacing all other laptops. It remains to be seen if that trend is indicative of a long-term change, but it looks like HP may be the biggest winner of the surge in Chromebook demand as over a third of all units bear its logo.

Permalink to story.

 

DZillaXx

Posts: 282   +407
Its a shame organizations are getting tricked into chromebooks. Mostly schools. Kids are getting a subpar learning experience being forced to use free version of tools that just are not as good as what the workforce is expected to use. Google Docs,Sheets,etc just don't compare to Word,Excel,etc.

Growing up every school taught MS Office, but in the idea of cutting costs they've switch over to Google. While it is fine for basic work, as times being web based just makes things so much slower. Better to teach a platform once. Kids learning the dumb down method then being expected to do things on a not so dumb down platform isn't going to go over so well. Google Sheets is there for when you need to do some basic work, Hell even I use it for some of my more basic personal finance stuff. But I'd never run my bidsheets or BuilderPart Selector to cost sheets. Some of these are large files with tons of tabs or reference large internal part databases. Building them in Excel was one thing, to try and do it in Google Docs may be impossible or extremely time consuming.

Chromebooks do have windows beat on easy cheap management. Windows now has Azure AD and management with intune. But it is no where near as easy to get going, and not the cheapest solution. For a small business where $20/m per user isn't a big deal. But for a big school a azure based solution is probably a costly option that MS really needs to bring in line with google's solution on their chromebooks.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,517   +3,814
Its a shame organizations are getting tricked into chromebooks. Mostly schools. Kids are getting a subpar learning experience being forced to use free version of tools that just are not as good as what the workforce is expected to use. Google Docs,Sheets,etc just don't compare to Word,Excel,etc.

Growing up every school taught MS Office, but in the idea of cutting costs they've switch over to Google. While it is fine for basic work, as times being web based just makes things so much slower. Better to teach a platform once. Kids learning the dumb down method then being expected to do things on a not so dumb down platform isn't going to go over so well. Google Sheets is there for when you need to do some basic work, Hell even I use it for some of my more basic personal finance stuff. But I'd never run my bidsheets or BuilderPart Selector to cost sheets. Some of these are large files with tons of tabs or reference large internal part databases. Building them in Excel was one thing, to try and do it in Google Docs may be impossible or extremely time consuming.

Chromebooks do have windows beat on easy cheap management. Windows now has Azure AD and management with intune. But it is no where near as easy to get going, and not the cheapest solution. For a small business where $20/m per user isn't a big deal. But for a big school a azure based solution is probably a costly option that MS really needs to bring in line with google's solution on their chromebooks.
Chromebooks are the perfect tool for school districts. Purchasing decent windows machines would cost significantly more, especially when you consider a chromebook costs under $200 when purchased in bulk. For writing book reports and typical school work, google docs works perfectly fine, and in the private sector google docs is being used because unlike microsoft office it doesnt require a subscription and runs on anything you can log onto google with. The only thing you need office for in a school enviroment is office classes, and given how many private and public entities are moving to google docs that time may be short.

The only department that really NEEDS office is HR and the finance department, with their specialized macros and databases, as you pointed out. But the vast majority of people dont need office, and paying for the software is a total waste of money. There's no trick to it, chromebooks are far cheaper for mass deployment to tens of thousands of students in a short timeframe, especially for urban districts that have to.
As the article says, schools are buying them so that's why.
Can confirm. Districts going 1 to 1 on short notice has pushed the whole industry into overdrive.
 

zaku49

Posts: 28   +23
The real reason that chromebooks are taking over the market is cost, performance, weight and the ability to buy units that work both as tablets and laptops. This means you can use your laptop like a tablet, get all of the apps from the android store, no crappy Microsoft or apple store, and here's the big one, you will get 5+ years of updates which is unheard of for an android tablet.
 

himindedlolife

Posts: 26   +15
Things change. As kids grow up learning Google Docs instead of MS Office, that's what they will expect and the job market will be forced to deliver. Corporations aren't going to tell an entire generation they're unemployable because they didn't learn the right legacy word processing program. The kids would laugh in their face. Corporations will just have to adapt.
 

Lounds

Posts: 864   +766
Things change. As kids grow up learning Google Docs instead of MS Office, that's what they will expect and the job market will be forced to deliver. Corporations aren't going to tell an entire generation they're unemployable because they didn't learn the right legacy word processing program. The kids would laugh in their face. Corporations will just have to adapt.
Except most businesses are all in on office 365.
Schools in the US only use Chromebook because they're cheap.
 

himindedlolife

Posts: 26   +15
Schools in the US only use Chromebook because they're cheap.
Computer technology is inherently deflationary and has been for many decades. If MS tries to stand in front of that train with inflated prices and profit margins they'll get rightly flattened. When customers are choosing the competition in droves due to price then your price is by definition inflated. The added capabilities of your product are inconsequential if the customers chooses not to pay for it and instead use a different cheaper product that meets their needs.
 
Last edited:

DZillaXx

Posts: 282   +407
Computer technology is inherently deflationary and has been for many decades. If MS tries to stand in front of that train with inflated prices and profit margins they'll get rightly flattened. When customers are choosing the competition in droves due to price then your price is by definition inflated. The added capabilities of your product are inconsequential if the customers chooses not to pay for it and instead use a different cheaper product that meets their needs.
Actually for a business Office 365 is not a bad monthly cost. Yeah its more expensive that holding onto machine for years on end. 365 for a business isn't just excel and word, but email, teams, onedrive/sharepoint.

Office 365 is big in the work place for these reasons alone, which actually competes decently with googles offerings. As we all know while gmail works great, their google drive and inner communication platform needs some serious work. Google's versions of MS teams is not all one product and doesn't function as well. Google Drive is just not as production ready for hosting a company's file system.


But for school's the monthly cost per user on google is pretty low, especially consider that unlike MS that charges more for their Azure AD, Google includes it in the base product. So managing them is super cheap and all that schools are doing is paying for students email and google drive access.

MS is simply losing out on big market share for younger. At the same time these kids are being taught on a inferior platform with the inferior. I personally don't think learning a more basic platform is good. Learning how to use more advanced tools is always the better option. I do know in the workforce google isn't even close to offering what MS offers for their 365 platform.
 

Farkinell

Posts: 170   +245
Chromebooks are just the crappy netbooks from years ago cleverly rebranded by Google. They simply do not have range of capabilities Windows or Macs have and I echo previous comments that it’s a shame the kids are being taught to use these sup-par machines as a result of obvious cost cutting.

I do not know what the jobs market will be like but right now business uses Office and will for the foreseeable future, It’s not a “legacy” platform if it’s still the dominant productivity suite. Trying to construct a complex spreadsheet or do anything beyond simple word processing on Google docs is a hair-pulling nightmare.

The kids will only have to relearn how to use a proper productivity suite, so schools need to find the money and teach the kids the skills they need.
 

dragosmp

Posts: 26   +25
The real reason that chromebooks are taking over the market is cost, performance, weight and the ability to buy units that work both as tablets and laptops. This means you can use your laptop like a tablet, get all of the apps from the android store, no crappy Microsoft or apple store, and here's the big one, you will get 5+ years of updates which is unheard of for an android tablet.
In my school, its as simple as that. The added benefit is that the requirement for qualified sysadmin is much lower. My school can't afford to pay market price for top sysadmins and a Chromebook allows for easier administration A reasonably qualified IT teacher is actually sufficient to create accounts and deploy updates. The PC breaks? Send it over for repair, login to a spare and it actually works (good luck doing that on Windows, at best you have the documents, unless Onedrive bugged and silent failed).

Is it the best for the kids? Not sure, I 100% prefer Win at home and am capable to sysadmin a 6 PC home, but at school ChOS the best we can do with the budget there is. Due to the shear complexity of Windows, in order to compete MS should offer a free sysadmin to every school it expects to use its OS. Although for Windows the battle is lost, I'm half thinking a TeamsOS might make some sense to compete with ChOS in school environement.
 

Nobina

Posts: 3,146   +3,048
Are Chromebooks a myth? I've never spotted one in the wild. I don't own a tablet but I would probably get one over this and a detachable keyboard. It's a device for content consumption anyway.
 

Latest posts