Tablets and Chromebooks Expected to See Continued Growth in 2021 While the Long-Term Outlook Presents Challenges, According to IDC

NEEDHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#Chromebook–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 a new forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, 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.”

Note: Tablets include Slate tablets and Detachable Tablets. Chromebooks include Notebook PCs running Chrome OS.

IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker gathers data in more than 90 countries and provides detailed, timely, and accurate information on the global personal computing device market. This includes data and insight into global trends around desktops, notebooks, detachable tablets, slate tablets, and workstations. In addition to insightful analysis, the program delivers quarterly market share data and a five-year forecast by country. The research includes historical and forecast trend analysis.

For more information, or to subscribe to the research, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 650-350-6423 or

About IDC Trackers

IDC Tracker products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than 100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research processes, IDC’s Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly Excel deliverables and on-line query tools.

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About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology, IT benchmarking and sourcing, and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC’s analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world’s leading tech media, data, and marketing services company. To learn more about IDC, please visit Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC and LinkedIn. Subscribe to the IDC Blog for industry news and insights.

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Ryan Reith

Jitesh Ubrani

Michael Shirer

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