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More people bought Chromebooks than Macs in 2020

With more people at home, buyers went for the cheaper options.

chromebooks on purple background
Image: KnowTechie

Data aggregated by research firm IDC revealed that Google’s Chromebook outsold Apple’s Macs in 2020. The data was also confirmed by two more independent analytics firms, Strategy Analytics and Canalys. Furthermore, data from Canalys even showed that Chromebook’s shipments almost quadrupled in 2020. Approximately 11.2 million Chromebook units were sold in 2020. For comparison, the number was down at only 2.9 million units in 2019.

However, for those closely familiar with the notebook PC industry, this is no big news as the trend dates from 2019. During that year, Chromebooks captured 10.5% of the market, whereas Macs only 9.1%.

In 2020, Chromebooks experienced quite the leap as they managed to capture 14.9% of the market share. On the flip side, Apple’s Macs only had 8.7% of the total notebook sales. Same as Macs, Windows notebooks were somewhat less popular in 2020. In 2020, Windows held 75.2% of the market, 3.7% less than in 2019.

It is evident that Chromebooks are slowly but surely gaining ground in the notebook computers market.  

Rushabh Doshi, research director at Canalys, believes that Google’s digital offerings for education are driving Chromebook sales. Apart from that, many countries had to adapt to remote learning amid the lockdowns and movement restrictions throughout last year.

It’s also quite interesting that top Chromebook notebooks didn’t come from the most high-flying PC brands. In Q4 of 2020, Lenovo was the most popular vendor as the most sold PC notebook, with Apple, HP, Dell, and Samsung, trailing it. When it comes to Chromebooks, HP was the most popular brand, followed by Lenovo, Acer, Dell, and Samsung.

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