Chromebook sales fall hard in Q3 as education market becomes saturated – TechCrunch

Canalys today reported that worldwide PC sales dropped 2% in the third-quarter. But perhaps the most shocking data point from the PC market survey was that Chromebooks sales decreased by half, from 18% last quarter to just 9 percent in this quarter.
Good news for the market was that over 122,000,000 units were moved in the quarter. However, there are storm clouds ahead as supply chain issues could pose problems for PC manufacturers in future quarters.

The overall Chromebook sales fell 37% year-overyear due to the pandemic-induced sales frenzy. 5.3 million units were sold. Chromebook sales numbers reflect the slump in Chromebook sales, with Chromebook retailers taking big hits. Top vendor Lenovo saw a drop of over 20% in sales year-over-year. HP was second, losing 66%, and Acer was third, down 28%.

Canalys suggested that this was more due to market saturation than parts shortages and other supply chain problems. With a 37% drop in Chromebook shipments year-on-year (52% quarter-on-quarter) in Q3, the market for Chromebooks was in severe trouble. According to the firm, this is happening as major education markets like the US and Japan reach saturation point. Public sector funding for digital education programs is slowing down.

Tablet shipments fell 15% year-over-year, with sales falling in all regions except Asia-Pacific. However, this trend was reversed by an increase of 23% in sales. Comparable to North America, where sales fell 24%

Apple maintained its tablet market share lead at 40%, up from 34.4% last year. However, it was not as impressive as it sounds. They sold nearly the same amount of units as last, which means they experienced 0% growth. The Samsung market share dropped a bit from 20.4% last year to 19.1% this quarter. However, sales fell steeply, dropping more than 20% over last year. With 11.3% share, Lenovo was third, an increase of 9.5% from last year and good for modest growth of 2%.

Overall, PC sales were better with top vendor Lenovo increasing 4.1%, Apple rising 4.6% and HP falling 3.7%. This was especially due to the impact of the decline in Chromebook sales.

Brian Lynch, Canalys' research analyst, says holiday shopping season could bring some relief despite supply chain problems. Supply chain problems aside, sales will increase in Q4 QoQ due to holiday-related consumer demand worldwide. This will be possible by using less expensive, more material-intensive devices. TechCrunch spoke to Lynch about the fact that consumers tend to purchase less powerful devices, which puts less strain on component manufacturers. Lynch said that the firm expected a relatively stable performance in Q4 in terms YoY growth and marginal, steady growth over the next few years.

It is worth noting that Canalys tracks sales to channel customers, and not sales to end-customers for its market survey methodology. This means that it counts units sold to companies like Best Buy and Staples rather than to consumers.