Tablets and Chromebooks Sold Record Amounts in 2020-news

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The ongoing pandemic hasn’t been bad news for everyone: The global PC market (including tablets) ended 2020 on a high, posting a third consecutive quarter of annual growth.

A whopping 458.2 million units were shipped last year—the highest volume since 2015, according to market analyst firm Canalys. Between work-from-home orders and a rush on gifted tablets over the holiday season, it’s no surprise that computers are making a comeback.

Lenovo led the market in 2020, selling 87 million units, followed closely by Apple’s 81.4 million; HP, Dell, and Samsung filled out the top five, each posting double-digit shipment growth in Q4 2020.

Cupertino particularly asserted its dominance in the tablet market, watching as Q4 shipments grew 40 percent to 19.2 million—its best iPad performance since the final months of 2014, when the Mini 3 and Air 2 were released. Samsung, Amazon, and Lenovo also saw increased shipments, unlike Huawei, the only top-five vendor to suffer a decline year-on-year.

“The growth momentum enjoyed by tablets shows just how important easy access to computing power has become in the current time,” Canalys analyst Ishan Dutt said in a statement. “Their versatility … make them an ideal device across a variety of use-cases, from simple slates for e-learning and content consumption all the way to high-performance detachables for productivity users who are adapting to spending a larger proportion of time at home.

“Moving forward, tablets will be a crucial element of vendors’ PC portfolios and vendors like Apple and Samsung that prioritized the category as others exited will find themselves in an enviable position,” Dutt added.

Chromebook makers also rose to new heights last year as the laptops set record shipment volumes, reaching 11.2 million units in the final quarter—a 287 percent increase over the same time in 2019. Chrome OS-powered machines accounted for a total 30.6 million units sold last year.

“Demand for Chromebooks is through the roof,” according to Canalys research director Rushabh Doshi. “With many countries being forced to accelerate their digital education plans in the wake of additional lockdowns, schools and universities are clamoring for easy-to-deploy solutions and Google’s digital offerings for education are proving quite popular over rival platforms, especially in the US and Western Europe.”

“Outside education,” he continued, “there has also been mounting interest from consumers and traditional commercial customers in seeking out Chromebooks to ensure affordable continuity of business or personal computing.”

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