Apple continues to benefit from global notebook shipment growth

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Apple is likely to benefit from a growth in global notebook shipments, according to TrendForce, with its MacBook Pro and MacBook Air helping the company enjoy high growth levels while Chromebook demand is set to slow down.

The global COVID-19 pandemic prompted many changes in buying habits as consumers adopted work-from-home and distance learning measures in 2020. In a report published by TrendForce, it seems that the increased demand may continue into 2021.

In the report, global notebook shipments for 2020 saw a 26% year-on-year increase, a marked change from the typical 3% cyclical increase and decrease. It is believed the uptick will continue throughout 2021, resulting in 236 million units shipped, or a 15% year-on-year increase.

The main beneficiaries will be for education notebooks, with Chromebooks becoming the driver for growth in the market. On a brand basis, Apple is named alongside Samsung as the companies that will register the highest growth in the period.

Chromebooks will apparently reach 47 million units in 2021, a historical peak and a year-on-year growth of 50%. However, while the majority of growth is in the US with 70%, the saturation of the education market and the gradual return to offices will reduce the momentum of education-focused notebooks.

While the global market will slow down in the second half of 2021, the bulk will apparently take place in the fourth quarter. The low margins and increased cost of display panels will force vendors to shift away from Chromebooks in favor of more profitable models, the report believes.

Annual global notebook shipments [via TrendForce]

In 2022, it is thought the demand for notebooks will slow down, as hybrid work models become normalized. It is forecast that shipments for 2020 will hit 220 million units, a decrease of 6% year-on-year.

Apple's growth of Mac sales in 2021 is substantial, with one April report saying first quarter Mac shipments were up 111.5% year-on-year, versus global shipments of notebooks, desktops, and workstations growing 55.2% year-on-year. In May, it was reckoned Apple shipped 5.7 million MacBooks in the first quarter of 2021, up 94% year-on-year.

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