Omdia research shows Global notebook PC shipments with 4.7% Y/Y growth in 2021, driven by 28.7% Y/Y growth of strong Chromebook demand

LONDON, Oct. 13, 2020 The latest research from leading analyst house Omdia has found that notebook PC shipments in 2020 will hit 195.7 million units accounting for a 14.1% YoY growth.  Chromebooks have seen the greatest increase in YoY growth with an increase of 67% accounting for 22.2 million units in 2020.

Global notebook PC / Chromebook shipments and YoY change (2018 – 2024)
Global notebook PC / Chromebook shipments and YoY change (2018 – 2024)

Omdia forecasts that the growth will continue in 2021 with the market set to grow by 4.7% accounting for 204.8 million units, while the demand for Chromebooks will continue to rise in 2021 resulting in 28.7% YoY growth accounting for 28.6 million units.

Figure: Global notebook PC / Chromebook shipments and YoY change (2018 – 2024)

The key reasons for this growth in demand for 2021 Notebook PCs are:

  • Increased capabilities of Notebook PCs in replacing desktops
  • Increased demand for learning from home and government subsidy

Jeff Lin, senior principal analyst at Omdia commented: "Social distancing will become the new normal in 2021 if COVID-19 pandemic is expected to beyond July 2021.

"Under the trend of this new normal, notebook PC shipment will grow continuously by the replacement of desktop PCs and the rapid expansion of the age group of notebook PC users"

Increase in replacement of desktop PCs for Notebook PCs the new normal:

The enterprises will change their 2021 desktop PC procurement plan if COVID-19 can’t be effectively controlled until 2021, and employees will no longer be limited to work at specific workplaces because social distancing will become a new normal in 2021.

Omdia foresees that notebook PC demand for business will likely increases again in the first half of 2021 by work-from-home (WFH), and enterprises will also accelerate the improvement of privacy and security of notebook PCs at same time.

Vendors promoting premium Notebook PCs, driven by new GPU supply strategy:

PC vendors will be more actively promoting premium notebook PCs in 2021 because of new GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) supply strategy – take a certain purchasing volume of high-end GPU chips first before purchasing entry and medium level of GPU chips. New supply strategy is caused by increasing cost of GPU chips by tight production capacity of foundries’ advanced semiconductor processes.

Omdia foresees that this new supply strategy will not only accelerate the growth of gaming notebook PCs (notebook PCs with premium level of GPU chips), but also will stimulate the new trend of notebook PCs replacing desktop PCs because the computing performance of those notebook PCs with premium level of GPU chips are good enough for supporting 3D and AI (Artificial intelligence) computing requirements by existing desktop PCs.

Rapid expansion of the age group of Notebook PC users since 2020

Since April 2020, the Japanese government has released a new education policy, making computer programming classes mandatory for all students. In order to effectively implement this new policy, the Japanese government subsidises all elementary and junior high school students to purchase one mobile PC device via Global and Innovation Gateway for All (GIGA) program. Omdia projects that more than 60% of the GIGA program’s device demand will be from Chromebooks, and fast-growing Chromebook shipments also accelerates expansion the age group of notebook PC users.

Government Subsidy:

If the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to beyond Jul 2021, Omdia projects that the need for learning-from-home (LFH) will emerge again in the first half of 2021 from developed and developing countries both.

The British government has begun to plan a subsidy program of notebook PCs for education in 2021, and the plan is to subsidize £200 to £300 British Pound per device. Due to the limitation of subsidy amount (ex: £200 to £300 British Pound by the British government), Omdia expects most of the demand to be for Chromebooks.

About Omdia 
Omdia is a global technology research powerhouse, established following the merger of the research division of Informa Tech (Ovum, Heavy Reading and Tractica) and the acquired IHS Markit technology research portfolio*. 

We combine the expertise of over 400 analysts across the entire technology spectrum, analyzing 150 markets publishing 3,000 research solutions, reaching over 14,000 subscribers, and covering thousands of technology, media & telecommunications companies. 

Our exhaustive intelligence and deep technology expertise allow us to uncover actionable insights that help our customers connect the dots in today’s constantly evolving technology environment and empower them to improve their businesses – today and tomorrow.  

Omdia is a registered trademark of Informa PLC and/or its affiliates. All other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. Informa PLC registered in England & Wales with number 8860726, registered office and head office 5 Howick Place, London, SW1P 1WG, UK. Copyright © 2020 Omdia. All rights reserved. 

*The majority of IHS Markit technology research products and solutions were acquired by Informa in August 2019 and are now part of Omdia. 

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