Chromebook Market Sees Decline in Q3 2023 Following Strong Back-to-School Season

The global Chromebook market experienced a moderate decline in the third quarter of 2023, following a robust back-to-school season in the previous quarter, according to Canalys.
Chromebook market size Q3 2023 CanalysTop Chromebook suppliers are: Acer (25.3 percent share), HP (19.3 percent), Dell (19.3 percent), Lenovo (18.5 percent), and Asus (11.1 percent).

A significant portion of the residual inventory has now cleared out after the surge in demand from the education sector.

Acer managed to regain its position at the top of Chromebook shipments despite a relatively low drop of 16 percent compared to the second quarter. However, year-over-year shipments still decreased by 17 percent.

Meanwhile, HP, previously at the top, faced a more significant sequential drop of 57 percent.

Dell maintained its third-place position, with shipments in Q3 roughly matching those of HP. Lenovo and Asus secured the remaining spots in the top five rankings.

Kieren Jessop, analyst at Canalys, commented on the situation, saying, “Chromebooks’ growth trajectory rapidly changed for the worse in Q3 2023 as shipments fell 40 percent quarter on quarter after previously strong education demand from the US market.”

“Earlier this year, OEMs rushed to prebuild models before the increase in the ChromeOS license fee and to take advantage of the final funding round of the US government’s Emergency Connectivity Fund. But the consequence has been a strong downward turn in Q3 as much of the inventory built up throughout the year has now been cleared out.”

Despite the decline, Google recently announced the Chromebook Plus laptops, which offer double the performance of standard Chromebooks while remaining competitively priced for the low-end market. These Plus series laptops also come with AI capabilities aimed at enhancing the video call experience. This move represents Google’s effort to expand the Chromebook’s presence beyond the education and consumer segments, which still account for over 80 percent of Chromebook shipments.

Kieren Jessop, the Canalys analyst, noted, “Chromebook Plus machines will likely do better in the small business segment than their predecessors. But they face stark competition as the PC industry’s latest obsession with AI-enabled devices may prove difficult for Chromebooks to keep up with.”

Meanwhile, IDC report said Chromebook shipments contracted in 3Q23 with shipments totaling 3.5 million units for a year-over-year decline of 20.8 percent. However, the market for Chromebooks is potentially in a better position due to a pending refresh in the education segment and leftover budgets within government spending.