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Global notebook sales beat supply chain blues

Notebook PCs finished 2021 with record shipments of 268-million units, 19% up on 2020. Guess who topped the table?

Commercial demand stayed strong for notebook PCs in the fourth quarter of 2021, thanks to Windows 11 performance and the growth of the device as a service (DaaS) market. According to a new report by Strategy Analytics, the industry prioritised notebook PC production in the face of supply constraints to keep up with hybrid working needs. Notebook shipments grew 19% over the previous highs reached in 2020, to reach 268-million units.

Lenovo led with a 16% surge, keeping it ahead of HP, while the next-ranked Dell, Apple and Acer also saw a leap in sales.

As 2022 begins, warns Strategy Analytics, the industry must be cautious about lingering supply issues and increased freight and manufacturing costs.

“This was another strong quarter for notebooks, capping an end to another strong year,” says industry analyst Chirag Upadhyay.  “The continued demand of the hybrid work environment supported the developed market’s growth, which was also driven by Window 11 and DaaS attractive price offerings. Emerging markets are driven by continued demand from small and medium businesses, while consumers continue to shift towards mobility. Also, delayed orders from Q3 2021 due to component shortage and supply issues were fulfilled in the fourth quarter.”

Eric Smith, Strategy Analytics director for connected computing, says:  “As we witnessed a slowdown in Chromebook demand in the second half of 2021, Windows demand took off in Q4 2021. Windows 11 enterprise upgrades gave Windows notebooks strong momentum during the quarter across all regions. Microsoft also attracted top PC vendors with the recently launched Window 11 SE for K-8 education, targeting the surge in Chrome market share during the pandemic. Windows also remained the popular choice for consumers, as gaming notebook PC demand continued during the holiday season.”

  • Lenovo shipped (sell-in) 16.2-million units in Q4 2021 (calendar year), representing -9% quarterly growth decline and +6% annual growth.
  • HP maintained the second position as shipments reached 14.5-million in Q4 2021 at a -4% decline year-over-year
  • Dell registered record notebook PC shipments of 13.2-million units, a 14% growth rate year-on-year and 8% growth compared to previous quarter
  • Apple MacOS carried the momentum from September quarter and set an all-time record in the company’s history, shipping more than 6.6-million MacBooks during the holiday quarter, an 11% growth from Q4 2020
  • Acer returned to the top 5 ranks by shipping 5.2-million units, a sequential 6% growth compared to the previous quarter.

The full report from Strategy Analytics’ Connected Computing Devices (CCD) service, Preliminary Global Notebook PC Shipments and Market Share: Q4 2021 Results can be found here:

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