Chromebooks and tablets recorded their first quarterly decline in shipments since the onset of the pandemic in 2020, the latest IDC report suggests. While Chromebook shipments declined 29.8 percent year over year in the third quarter of 2021, the tablet shipments recorded a 9.4 percent year-over-year decline. Chromebook shipment volume dropped to 6.5 million units and tablet shipment volume reduced to 42.3 million units. In the Chromebook segment, Lenovo reportedly led the pack with 23.1 percent market share. On the other hand, Apple ruled the tablet segment in the third quarter with 34.6 percent market share.
IDC's latest report suggests that easing restrictions across many regions led to increased spending in other categories, which weakened Chromebook and tablet demand. The decline, the report says, also stems from the comparison to a strong third quarter in 2020 when consumer device shipments peaked. As mentioned, Lenovo ruled the Chromebook segment in Q3 2021 with 1.5 million shipments and 23.1 percent market share. However, its annual growth declined by 10 percent as it shipped 1.7 million units in the same quarter last year. For Chromebook shipments, Acer comes in second with 1.4 million shipments and 20.8 percent market share. Dell and HP come in third and fourth respectively, with 1.2 million and 1.1 million reported shipments in the third quarter. Samsung came in last with 0.6 million shipments and 8.9 percent market share. Almost all top Chromebook manufacturers saw a decline in annual growth, except for Samsung that saw a marginal increase of 0.2 percent.
Anuroopa Nataraj, senior research analyst with IDC's Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers, adds, "Many schools and governments blew out their budgets to provide devices for remote learning and even consumers aggressively purchased devices for learning in 2020. As a result, some saturation in the education market is expected in the near term. This directly impacts Chromebooks and even tablets to some extent, especially in developed markets such as the US and Western Europe, due to high volumes in the preceding quarters. However, Chromebooks continue to increase their footprint in emerging markets such as Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan and China), Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa, but sales in these regions account for less than 13 percent of the overall Chromebook volume and hence are far from moving the global market."
Coming to tablets, the latest IDC report suggests that Apple led the pack in Q3 2021 shipments with 14.7 million units and 34.6 percent market share. It saw 4.6 percent annual growth with only 14 million units shipped in the same quarter last year. Samsung comes in second with reported shipments at 7.5 million and market share at 17.7 percent. Amazon-branded tablets and Lenovo tablets come in third and fourth with 4.7 million and 4.3 million units shipped, respectively.
Huawei managed to ship 2.4 million tablets in Q3 2021, raking in 5.4 percent of the market share globally and taking the fifth spot in tablet ranking.