Chinese hardware giant Lenovo shifted 23.5 million tablets, notebooks and desktops in the three months ending September 30, leading the PC pack in a stellar quarter.
The third quarter saw the total PC market, including tablets, enjoy its second successive quarter of substantial growth, tallying up total shipments of 124.5 million units, a 23 per cent increase, year-on-year, according to industry analyst firm Canalys.
Lenovo’s lead during the quarter was followed closely by Apple, which sipped 22.1 million Macs and iPads. Lenovo and Apple were followed in the global rankings by HP, Dell and Samsung, respectively, which rounded out the top five.
The rest of the pack, defined only as ‘others’ by Canalys, contributed 38.2 million shipped devices to the total, representing a 30.2 per cent market share and a combined growth rate of 22.7 per cent, year-on-year.
According to Canalys, the Chromebook segment claimed the best performing client PC product category during the quarter, with shipments growing by 122 per cent, year-on-year, reaching a total of 9.4 million.
The analyst firm noted that vendors selling Chromebooks saw impressive growth continue into the third quarter, with HP leading the market, more than doubling volumes from a year ago to reach 3.2 million units.
At the same time, Lenovo ramped up Chromebook shipments, enjoying a whopping 300 per cent growth rate, to move into second place with 1.8 million units. Dell, Acer, and Asus made up the remainder of the top five, with each posting strong growth and record Chromebook shipment volumes.
“Chromebooks emerged as the centerpiece of the education segment’s digital response to the COVID-19 pandemic” Canalys analyst Ishan Dutt said. “Uncertainty in how school terms will proceed remains at the forefront of educators’ minds in the face of secondary lockdowns and protocols related to dealing with infections within a school’s population.
“As a result, institutions turned to Chromebooks to deliver a relatively budget-friendly and easy to manage contingency to ensure minimal disruption over the course of the school year,” he said.
Meanwhile, detachables, comprising tablets and notebooks, grew by 88 per cent, representing the second best performing category in the personal computing segment.
Within the desktop category, all-in-ones grew by 7 per cent, despite an overall desktop market decline of 32 per cent.
The global tablet market segment was a particularly buoyant contributor to the total market’s growth rate in the quarter, enjoying an increase of 43 per cent, year-on-year, to 44.3 million.
The top five tablet vendors, which all posted year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter growth, included Apple, with 15.2 million units and growth of 47 per cent; Samsung, in second, with growth of 80 per cent, breaking the 9 million mark; Huawei, with 38 per cent growth and shipments of 5.1 million units.
Indeed, both the Chromebook and the tablet categories represented an affordable computing option as the pandemic continued to positively influence PC ownership and usage for various purposes.
Canalys noted that, in the face of the resulting demand from the market, vendors and channel partners shifted resources towards the production and distribution of tablets and Chromebooks. It is expected that the surging demand in these areas is expected to continue in the short-term.
Canalys analyst Victoria Li said that tablets have bounced back from a period of sluggish growth as they deliver an enticing balance of mobility and computing power at a wide range of price points during the past several pandemic-hit months.
“Tablets are a natural choice for first-time PC users who want something uncomplicated and affordable to work with,” Li said. “The natural extension of Android and iOS on tablets makes it easy for parents, students and educators who dabbled with extended remote learning for the first time in their lives and prefer the ease of installing apps that these platforms offer.
“Another contributing factor is the role these tablets play in the accelerated pace of digital transformation that big and small companies are undertaking. Connected tablets allow businesses to deploy endpoints at crucial stages in their customer and salesforce journeys, thereby helping these businesses ride the storm.
“Tablets will find themselves at the heart of every digital transformation going forward,” she added.