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Half a Billion PCs, Tablets Shipped Globally in 2021

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Last year was a bumper year for PCs and tablets amid the chip shortage, as total shipments for the year grew 9 percent to just under half a billion.

For the full year, Chromebook shipments grew 10 percent while tablet shipments were almost flat, down by 1.6 percent, reports market research firm Canalys.

The tablet space is more diverse now than it was last year, as a host of new players have entered the market, with many more in line to release products, – analyst Himani Mukka.

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“Though the market saw a year-on-year decline, shipments remained higher than before the pandemic, showing the strength of the tablet revival,” he added.

However, global PC (including tablet) shipments fell 7 percent (on-year) in Q4 2021, to 133.7 million units.

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Chromebooks and tablets, which had been growth engines during the pandemic, both saw shipments suffer steep yet expected annual declines in Q4 2021, primarily due to high saturation in the consumer and education segments.

Tablet shipments fell 21 percent to 41.9 million units, while Chromebook shipments dropped 66.3 percent to 4 million units.

“The slowdown in Q4 was understandable given the supply constraints stifling growth, as seen in the case of iPads, with delivery lead times for devices stretching to up to two months,” said Mukka.

Tablets are expected to see subdued growth in coming quarters as the market reverts to its normal seasonality and users who bought tablets in the last 18 months hold onto their current devices, said the report.

However, it added that the postponement of commercial deployments and government tenders in major countries will rebalance the scales for the tablet market.

In the total PC market (including desktops, notebooks, and tablets), Lenovo maintained its dominance, shipping 26.5 million units in Q4 2021. Despite an 8 percent fall in total shipments, Apple stayed in second place with 24.3 million devices shipped.

HP, with 18.6 million units sold in Q4 2021, held onto third place, with a modest 3 percent year-on-year decrease, said the report.

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