Both Chromebooks and Windows Laptops have seen a massive boost during the pandemic, but widespread component shortages are forcing laptop OEMs to choose their preferred platform.

In Q2 2021 12.3 million Chromebooks were shipped, up a massive 68.6% YoY.

According to Lenovo however, component shortages which include memory and notebook panel driver IC have limited sales, with Lenovo saying they could have shipped 30-40% more devices if not for supply chain restrictions.

Due to shortages, PC makers have now starting to prioritise production lines in favour of more profitable Windows PCs at the expense of Chromebooks,  says the IDC.

Chromebooks make up 20% of HP’s portfolio, and the HP CEO Enrique Lores have admitted the low-cost laptops are “having some impact in the [average sales] pricing on the PC side, because Chromebooks overall have lower prices than the rest of the PC portfolio.”

“For Chromebook, while still in high demand and even on backlog for many education deals, vendors have started prioritising higher margin Windows laptops given the ongoing component shortages,” said Anuroopa Nataraj, senior research analyst at IDC.

The competition is worsened by the coming launch of Windows 11, which is likely to create a replacement cycle for older Windows laptops unable to run the OS.

“Google is set to bet big on the commercial segment this year. We expect to see a strong focus on attracting small businesses with updated services, such as the new ‘individual’ subscription tier for Google Workspace and promotions on CloudReady licenses to repurpose old PCs for deployment alongside existing Chromebook fleets,” said Brian Lynch, research analyst.

“However, with Apple eyeing to expand its M1 success into the commercial space and Microsoft launching Windows 11 later this year, the PC OS race is set to be the most hotly contested it has been in a long time.”

The full report can be read here.

via The Register

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