In context: We already knew that the PC market had grown rapidly in recent quarters, with demand remaining strong and chip shortages threatening supply. According to the latest figures from Strategy Analytics, laptops are a big part of this surge, and Chromebooks in particular have seen unprecedented growth.
The sudden shift to work and home study contributed to the biggest rebound in the PC market in a decade and drastically improved the bottom line for manufacturers, who are now struggling to keep up with demand. Laptop sales have been so high that they also revealed a weakness in the supply chain, as earlier this year companies like Lenovo warned their inventory was running out.
Despite the global shortage of chips, including for the $ 1 display driver chips and other critical components for laptops, the first quarter of 2021 saw as many as 37.8 million units shipped in the world to consumers and businesses.
That’s 81% year-over-year growth. It is also higher than the overall PC market soaring 55% year-over-year.
Director of Strategic Analysis Eric Smith Remarks that manufacturers were able to process large orders for laptops even before the expected delivery date. That’s an interesting observation, given that some cryptocurrency miners have panicked buying RTX Ampere laptops to get around the GPU shortage, while schools around the world have been buying Chromebooks at an unprecedented rate.
Lenovo retains the top spot in terms of units shipped, nearly doubling sales in the same quarter last year. The company has sold more than 16 million laptops, increasing its market share to less than 24%. HP and Dell took the next two spots with 15.4 million units and 10 million units, respectively, but the latter saw a smaller year-over-year increase of 37%, while its Global notebook market share increased from 19.2% to 14.6%. in the past 12 months.
Apple has also gained ground, shipping around 5.7 million units in the three months ending in March. The Cupertino-based company reported a record $ 9.1 billion Mac revenue for that period. If the 5.7 million unit figure is correct, that comes down to an average selling price of almost $ 1,600 per Mac.
Chromebook sales were up 174% year-over-year and totaled 12.1 million units, outperforming all other laptops. Whether this trend indicates long-term change remains to be seen, but it looks like HP could be the biggest winner in the surge in demand for Chromebooks, as more than a third of all units carry its logo.