Why Fewer Folks Are Shopping for Chromebooks in 2021

With we're in the middle of the final quarter of the year, sales aren't looking good for Chromebooks. The technology company does poorly after its rapid growth in the previous quarters.

A new report has appeared showing that Chromebook sales are falling massively. But why are sales so bad and is there any hope of recovery? Let's find out.

Chromebook sales are falling dramatically

According to a report released by Canalys, Chromebook sales in the third quarter fell from 18 percent last quarter to 9 percent, with pandemic-related sales issues and delays leading to a 37 percent drop from last year with just 5.8 million units sold.

As for Chromebook vendors, leader Lenovo lost more than 20 percent year-over-year, followed by HP, which lost 66 percent. Behind HP was Acer, which lost more than 28 percent.

Chromebook wasn't the only PC to see dismal sales, but it did record some of the worst, and all after a number of consecutive quarters of growth.

More info: Important tips for first time Chromebook users

Why Fewer People Are Buying Chromebooks

The drop in Chromebook sales can be attributed to a number of factors, but Canalys points to the slowdown in education spending in the US.

Canalys believes this had more to do with market saturation than with the global parts scarcity and supply chain issues that were affecting the tech industry.

Although the Chromebook market has grown tremendously since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, that growth has slowed as public funding for digital education programs waned. As Canalys noted in his report:

The Chromebook market was hit by a massive downturn, with shipments dropping 37% year over year (52% qoq) in the third quarter. This is because large education markets like the US and Japan are reaching saturation point and public sector funding for digital education programs is waning.

Canalys cites Chrome's strategy as the reason for the massive drop in sales and says it's inevitable due to its focus on the education market. As explained by Canalys Research Analyst Brian Lynch in the same report:

Chrome's focus on the education market meant he had to slow down at some point. Governments, education institutions, and households have invested heavily in Chromebooks for more than a year, and with so many students outfitted with devices and schools returning to class, shipping volumes have decreased accordingly.

Nonetheless, Chrome has massively expanded its user base in the past year and a half, and because of that growth, it will have far more update options. Google also made significant investments in the enterprise market this year to broaden its horizons beyond its secure position in education.

While this domain is much more of a challenge for Chrome, it will be able to rely on its economy, security, and ease of administration to carve out a niche.

Related: The Best Chromebooks For 2021

Will Chromebooks recover from this massive drop in sales?

While Chromebook sales look weak at the moment, Canalys believes there is hope for the company and its banking operations in the US education market will pick up over time.

Canalys gives two reasons for his optimism. First, many school districts are waiting for funding from the US government's multi-billion dollar ECF program. The second reason is seasonality. With schools aiming for one PC per student, they will be more strategic about purchasing equipment for students before the school year starts, which should boost Chromebook sales again.

Chromebook vs. MacBook: Which Is Better For You?

Are you deciding between buying a Chromebook or a MacBook? Let's look at all of the key differences between these two options.

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About the author

Aya Masango
(91 published articles)

Aya is a freelance writer with a passion for brands, marketing, and life in general. When she's not typing, she keeps up with the latest news, ponders the essence of life, and ponders new business opportunities. Most productive when working in bed.

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