Chromebooks became very popular last year during the pandemic

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By now the fact that COVID-19 affected a myriad industries and markets in 2020 is well known, but it is still interesting to see precisely which areas it had an influence. In the world of consumer electronics, tablets and notebooks saw notable growth and a new report from research firm Canalys explains that Chromebooks in particular thrived in 2020.

This as the segment saw three consecutive quarters of growth throughout last year, with 143.7 million units being shipped in Q4, representing a 35 percent year-on-year increase.

The strong end to 2020 for Chromebooks saw the number of shipments for these devices last year increase in total by 17 percent.

As for why this happened, Canalys points to digital education and remote learning as a big reason why. This as many countries had to react quickly to the fact that traditional learning environments were simply not possible during the pandemic, and in order to facilitate distance learning, Chromebooks proved the most affordable computing option for many.

“With many countries being forced to accelerate their digital education plans in the wake of additional lockdowns, schools and universities are clamoring for easy to deploy solutions and Google’s digital offerings for education are proving quite popular over rival platforms, especially in the US and Western Europe,” notes Canalys research director Rushabh Doshi.

“With governments in many countries racing towards a much needed 1:1 device to student ratio, Chromebook demand for education is expected to remain strong through 2021. Outside education, there has also been mounting interest from consumers and traditional commercial customers in seeking out Chromebooks to ensure affordable continuity of business or personal computing,” he adds.

2021 has seen COVID-19 remain a reality for most, if not all countries across the globe, which means more Chromebooks are likely to be shipped in the coming quarters.

Hopefully it also means that more features, power and even better pricing for the segment follows as remote learning and working will be mainstays in the months and years ahead.

[Image – Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash]

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.