Tablets and Chromebooks Expected to See Continued Growth in 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic had a positive impact on the tablet market in 2020 as consumers, businesses, and schools sought tablets to stay connected, entertained, or productive, according to IDC. Shipments of tablets are expected to grow 1.8% in 2021 following the stellar double-digit growth in 2020.
Global tablet volume is expected to reach 166.5 million units over the course of this year as consumer demand remains high. Meanwhile, Chromebooks, which often compete at similar price points, are expected to grow 33.5% during 2021 with volumes reaching 43.4 million.
"Sales for tablets and Chromebooks greatly expanded in 2020 due to an unprecedented demand for remote working and learning solutions. This year the need for budget friendly yet versatile devices for hybrid working and learning solutions will be paramount and this will continue to drive demand for these devices," said Anuroopa Nataraj, research analyst with IDC's Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers.
"Beyond 2021 both categories will continue to struggle as consumer and education demand is expected to slow. With the relaxation of lockdown restrictions, consumers will begin to increase spend on travel and other modes of entertainment, which in turn will impact growth in these devices."
"While 2021 will serve as a peak year for both tablets and Chromebooks there are still plenty of opportunities for each device category," said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager with IDC Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers. "Chromebooks are quickly proving themselves useful within workplaces and while they will not supplant Windows and Mac in these settings, they are expected to provide competition, particularly in job functions where high performance and legacy support isn't a priority. On the tablet side, detachable tablets will remain a bright spot as these devices are more PC-like than ever, both from a hardware and a software perspective."