Global Laptop Shipments Jump in Q4, Chrome OS Sees Highest Growth: Report


Global notebook shipments grew 54 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to a market research firm report. The growth came on the back of increased adoption of remote working and e-learning across major markets worldwide fuelled by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the report. It said that gaming and remote work drove record notebook demand during the holiday season. Lenovo emerged as the market leader, followed by HP, Dell, and Apple. Among operating systems, Chrome OS recorded the highest growth in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Notebook shipments globally hit the mark of 69.7 million units in the fourth quarter of 2020, Strategy Analytics said in its quarterly report. This was an increase of 53.86 percent from the 45.3 million units shipped in the same quarter of 2019. The increased shipments in the fourth quarter also resulted in a year-over-year growth of 32 percent. Annually, notebook shipments reached 226.8 million units in 2020, up from 172.3 million units in 2019, according to the report.

Lenovo led the notebook market with a quarterly shipments record of 17.9 million units in the fourth quarter of 2020, up from 12.1 million units in the corresponding quarter of 2019. But even though its shipments increased, the Chinese company’s market share dropped from 26.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019 to 25.6 percent in Q4 2020.

After Lenovo, HP came second with 22.6 percent market share in the fourth quarter of 2020, up from 21.2 percent in the same quarter of 2019. The company shipped 15.8 million units in the quarter, the report said.

Dell secured the third position shipping 11.5 million units in the last quarter of 2020 with a market share of 16.6 percent. The company had a 15.4 percent market share in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Apple and Acer came fourth and fifth in the global notebook market with a market share of 9.1 and 8.0 percent, respectively. The report noted that Apple shipped 6.3 million units in the fourth quarter of 2020, up from 4 million units shipped in the same quarter of 2019. Acer’s notebook shipments grew to 5.6 million units in Q4 2020 from 3.5 million in the same quarter of 2019.

“While every vendor posted shockingly high notebook shipment growth during the quarter, there was an interesting trend behind the numbers,” said Chirag Upadhyay, Industry Analyst at Strategy Analytics. “Gaming and Chromebook volumes were very strong; with e-learning still in effect and consumers looking for entertainment ahead of the cold winter months, buyers took advantage of great deals during the holiday season. Lenovo stacked those trends on top of meeting strong commercial demand to lead the market.”

In terms of operating system, Strategy Analytics showed in its report that Microsoft’s Windows continued its domination in the notebook market with a 73.3 percent market share in the fourth quarter of 2020. Windows registered a 43 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the last quarter of 2019.

Chrome OS ranked over macOS with a growth of 133 percent in the fourth quarter 2020 compared to Q4 2019. Google’s Web-based operating system captured a market share of 16.4 percent in Q4 and 14.9 percent throughout 2020. Apple’s macOS continued to be in the third position, with a 9.1 percent market share in the fourth quarter and 8.7 percent share overall in 2020. macOS grew 58 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to Q4 2019.

A report from Canalys also said that Chrome OS-based Chromebook sales almost quadrupled in the fourth quarter, with shipments reaching 11.2 million units. The Canalys report noted that Chromebooks grew 287 percent in Q4 2020 over the same quarter of 2019.


Is MacBook Air M1 the portable beast of a laptop that you always wanted? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.



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