The global health crisis has been challenging to business and the economy, specifically to the travel and restaurant/bar sector, being forced to close or limit their business severely. But one industry doing well during this time is technology. Apple has reported its positive numbers, and it appears other tech companies are also doing well. The demand for Chromebooks doubled in 2020.
Chromebooks’ 2020 Increase
It’s no surprise why the laptop business was surging . With so many people forced into remote work and remote learning, people had a need to set up offices or “schoolrooms” in their homes, something they were unprepared for.
Samsung’s 2020 shipments of Chromebooks astonishingly quadrupled, with a total of 1.9 million. Lenovo shipped out five million more, with 6.8 million.
In the last quarter of 2020, Acer shipped 76 percent more Chromebooks, but it seems to be the only company with a modest increase. The number Lenovo shipped out was a whopping 1,776 percent more than previous.
In all, technology market analysis firm Canalys estimated that double the number of Chromebooks were shipped out during the pandemic in 2020, from 14.7 million previously, increasing to 30.7 million landing in consumer hands.
Tablet Sales Increase Too
Relatively inexpensive Chromebooks aren’t the only tech product with rising sales. Tablets were in demand but not to such jaw-dropping numbers. There was only a 28 percent increase in the number shipped out.
However, the reason for the lesser increase is because the market was already much higher than that of Chromebooks. There were 160.6 million tablets that shipped out, meaning about five times as many Chromebooks in 2020.
Again, it points back to reasons related to the pandemic. People already had tablets for their home use, but now with needs changing, they may have found tablets not efficient enough for some of their work or education tasks.
But they were obviously adequate for some. I’ve worked exclusively from home since 1993. Since around 2011, I’ve been doing most of my work on an iPad. That steadily increased to the point I no longer even have a computer in my home, with all of us using tablets and phones. But if my work responsibilities changed, I may be forced into going back to a desktop or laptop.
Google obviously didn’t see this trend coming when it moved its engineers off laptop and tablet projects in 2019. The question for them would be whether this trend will continue past the pandemic, whether it’s worth putting engineers back on projects for laptops and tablets.