The second quarter of 2021 (2Q21) was another strong quarter for both Chromebooks and tablets with both device categories recording growth despite a challenging year-over-year comparison.
According to preliminary data from research firm IDC, Chromebook shipments grew 68.6% year over year with volumes reaching 12.3 million units. While this wasn’t a record quarter for Chromebooks, it wasn’t far off the prior two quarters, which shattered previous highs.
The tablet segment was a bit more tempered than Chromebooks but still managed to grow 4.2% year over year with shipments totaling 40.5 million units.
Despite the positive results during the quarter, both categories are experiencing some slowdown from the boom in the preceding quarters. For Chromebooks, while still in high demand and even on backlog for many education deals, vendors have started prioritizing higher margin Windows laptops given the on-going component shortages.
For tablets, some of this applies but there is also bigger concern that consumer demand around tablets will slow much faster than Chromebooks or even the broader PC market.
“Opportunities in the education market are still ample for both tablets and Chromebooks. Online learning has gained rapid traction and has pushed forward the digital revolution in the learning space,” said Anuroopa Nataraj, senior research analyst with IDC’s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers.
“While there isn’t a single solution globally, many emerging markets continue to ramp up use of Android tablets while schools in some developed markets like the USA and Canada lean more toward Chromebooks. That said, there has also been a recent uprising of Chromebooks in areas of Europe, as well as a few Asian countries as schools start opening up to platform change.”