Chromebook and tablet shipments have gone down for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic started. The numbers for this conclusion come from research firm IDC. Chromebook shipments fell 29.8% year-on-year in the third quarter of this year.

That drop brought the number down to 6.5 million units, according to IDC’s “Worldwide quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker,” as tablet shipments went down by 9.4% to hit 42.3 million units.

The main reason for shipment falling is a shift in demand. The product categories reached peak demand during the pandemic when people were looking for devices that could enable work-from-home arrangements and provide entertainment.

The period of growth comes to a slide

The pandemic surge led to a sustained period of growth. Add the strong demand in 2020’s third quarter to the mix and you can see why this year would see a drop. People have already bought their devices.  

Supply chain problems also played a part in this drop, according to the research manager for IDC’s mobility and consumer device trackers, Jitesh Ubrani.

This new scenario opens up new opportunities for manufacturers to channel their shared components, freight availability, and production capacity into the making of things like gaming PCs or Windows notebooks.

Who leads?

The decline in shipments is not distributed the same across the world. It hit the developed markets particularly hard because they are still experiencing growth. However, their contribution (13%) to global shipments will not offset the drop.

HP experienced the most significant decline in the Chromebooks market, losing two-thirds of its shipments and losing first place in terms of market share.

Lenovo went to position one this quarter, up from position two. All vendors, except Samsung, which had flat year-on-year shipments, lost shipment volumes. Tablet rankings remain largely unchanged from 2020, with Apple staying at the top and increasing its market share by 4.6% to reach 34.6%.