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Laptop shipments set to reach a record-breaking 236 million in 2021

Chromebooks are said to be driving sales as people rush to buy affordable home working hardware

Global laptop shipments increased 26% in 2020 and are expected to continue to surge in 2021 to potentially reach a record-breaking 236 million units.

The surge in demand comes as a result of home working and remote learning, with notebooks and Chromebooks seen as affordable options for consumers and businesses, according to TrendForce. 

Chromebooks, in particular, are seen as the primary growth driver in the notebook market. In 2020, Canalys suggested demand for Chromebooks were 'through the roof', with Lenovo leading for overall PC sales.

TrendForce, however, suggests Samsung will register the highest growth, with Chromebooks accounting for nearly 50% of its total notebook shipment this year.

The vast majority (70%) of global Chromebook demand has come from the US, with Japan coming in second place with 10%. However, TrendForce points out that the US education notebook market is gradually saturated with Chromebooks, and could fall with the general public returning to physical workplaces and classrooms following the lifting of domestic restrictions. 

What's more, as Chromebooks occupy a large allocation of notebook shipments by Samsung, and also Acer, it is these two companies that are likely to bear the brunt of any downturn in the market, according to the report.

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While the estimates suggest sales will remain strong, TrendForce does see them dropping around the fourth quarter.

"Going forward, although notebook demand will likely slow in 2022, the normalisation of the hybrid-work model as well as the recovering demand for business notebooks will provide some upward momentum for annual notebook shipment next year, which will reach 220 million units, a minor downward correction of 6% year-on-year," the firm said, 

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