Chip and component shortages benefitting Windows laptops while hurting value-for-money Chromebooks?

Chromebooks Sales Windows Laptops Component Shortage
Cheaper Chromebooks to become harder to buy? Pic credit: TechnologyGuide TestLab/Flickr

The ongoing pandemic has pushed Windows laptops and Chromebooks sales through the roof. However, moving ahead, laptops running Windows 10 and Windows 11 could take a lead, claims new research.

Computer manufacturers are restructuring their procurements and production lines to build laptops that run Windows Operating System. Needless to mention, this directly means manufacturers will produce a much lower number of Chromebooks.

Work From Home has massively driven sales of Windows Laptops and Chromebooks:

There has been a huge boost in sales of computers, electronics, smartphones, tablets, and laptops during the pandemic. Moving ahead, the sales will remain robust, but Chromebooks could get a little harder to buy.

Manufacturers built and shipped 12.3 million Chromebooks in the second quarter of this year. This is a massive 68.6 percent Year on Year growth.

Incidentally, Chromebook sales significantly surpassed expectations. In terms of expectations versus reality, vendors shipped 5 million more Chromebooks than in the same period in 2020.

The increase is primarily because government lockdowns made PCs, particularly relatively low-cost ones, must-have items at home. Currently, Chromebooks are a much bigger seller than Apple’s Mac in 2020.

The numbers surely seem reassuring about the future of Chromebooks. However, the ongoing chip shortage could change the dynamics. In fact, changes are already underway at some of the leading laptop manufacturers.

Component shortage forcing vendors to prioritize Windows laptops?

Chromebook is a very general term. It refers to any laptop that runs Google Chrome OS.

The operating system is lightweight and versatile. It significantly relies on websites and web-based apps to do most of the heavy lifting or processing.

Needless to mention, these laptops do not pack powerful hardware. Even though Chromebooks cannot run some of the popular desktop-grade applications, they are the ideal choice for casual web browsing, content consumption, daily office work, and school.

While every manufacturer benefitted from the jump in sales of Chromebooks, some managed to sell a lot more units than others. Samsung, for example, shipped 900,000 units (up from 600,000 units a year ago). HP, on the other hand, shipped 4.3 million.

With the ongoing component shortage most likely stretching in 2022 as well, laptop manufacturers are now turning to portable computers that offer them better profits.

“For Chromebook, while still in high demand and even on the backlog for many education deals, vendors have started prioritizing higher-margin Windows laptops given the ongoing component shortages,” noted an analyst at IDC.

In other words, PC makers are reportedly starting to prioritize production lines in favor of more profitable Windows PCs, and the biggest victim will be Chromebook production lines.

Interestingly, the upcoming Windows 11 could only tip the scales further in favor of Windows laptops. This is simply because there will be many laptops that suddenly become incompatible, despite being powerful and reliable.

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