The market researchers at Canalys reported this week that Chromebook sales grew an astonishing 75 percent in Q2 2021. By comparison, Canalys says that the overall PC industry grew at just 10 percent in the quarter.
“The success of Chromebooks is proving to be remarkably resilient,” Canalys research analyst Brian Lynch said. “[Its] growth streak has extended well beyond the height of the pandemic as [the platform has] cemented a healthy position across all end-user segments in the industry.”
According to Canalys, hardware makers sold 11.9 million Chromebooks in Q2 2021, up from 6.8 million units in the same quarter one year ago. HP was, again, the biggest seller of Chromebooks with 4.3 million units sold and 36.4 percent marketshare. Lenovo (2.6 million units, 21.6 percent market share), Acer (1.9 million, 15.7 percent), Dell (1.1 million, 9.4 percent), and Samsung (1 million, 9.2 percent) rounded out the top five. HP and Samsung both saw astonishing YOY growth of 115.7 percent and 324.4 percent, respectively.
Critics of Chromebooks often claim that the platform’s success is only education and/or limited to certain locales, like North America. But Canalys says that’s not the case: Governments are another big source of Chromebook sales, it claims. And Google, the platform’s owner, is “set to bet big on the commercial segment [e.g. the business market] this year.” That focus will include a lower-cost individual subscription for Google Workspace and promotions for CloudReady, the company and service that Google bought to help bring Chrome OS to old PCs.
Whatever the future holds, it’s pretty clear that Chromebooks, which now account for 10 percent to 13 percent of all PCs sold, depending on the data source, continue to outgrow the rest of the PC market. And if this platform is able to garner big audiences outside of education, it will continue to threaten Windows on the low-end, just as Macs do on the high-end.