With the spread of remote and hybrid models, most tech companies have upgraded their devices to facilitate remote work. However, as COVID restrictions have been lifted, Chromebook demand decreased by 50% compared to last year.
Chromebooks are computers running on Chrome OS. The operating system includes cloud storage, Google offline-ready apps, and a robust security system. In the last report, Trendforce highlighted that Chromebook demand decreased by 50%— the highest slowdown in the entire PC industry.
The deceleration in PC demand depends on various factors, such as chip shortage, vaccination rates, and the mass return to offices and schools. Specifically, Chromebooks cover 13% of the entire PC industry per Canalys. Now, this sudden decrease is pushing digital manufacturers in re-thinking their sales expectations. The recent shift affected even tech leaders like Samsung—which sold 1.2 million Chromebooks in Q1 2020 (2000%).
Chromebooks recorded a massive YoY growth (275%), which now is less than 50%. However, Trendforce expects 36 million Chromebook unit sales in 2021— a 16.4% YoY increase (240 million unit sales). In addition, thanks to the Emergency Connectivity Fund (FCC’s $7.17 billion) to purchase digital devices for schools and libraries could support Chromebook demand for the following year.
However, Chromebook demand is the first manifestation of 2022 trends in a post-pandemic scenario.