Apple and Samsung laptops leading global growth, says Trendforce

By Ben Lovejoy

Apple and Samsung laptops are leading global growth in the notebook computer sector, according to a new TrendForce report.

It says that laptop sales grew by almost 26% last year, and are set for a further 15% boost this year …

TrendForce said that while Chromebooks will be key, Apple Silicon Macs will also play an important role in continued high demand.

While the stay-at-home economy generated high demand for notebook computers from distance learning and WFH applications last year, global notebook shipment for 2020 underwent a nearly 26% YoY increase, which represented a significant departure from the cyclical 3% YoY increase/decrease that had historically taken place each year, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations.

The uptrend in notebook demand is expected to persist in 2021, during which notebook shipment will likely reach 236 million units, a 15% YoY increase. In particular, thanks to the surging demand for education notebooks, Chromebooks will become the primary growth driver in the notebook market.

Regarding the shipment performance of various brands, Samsung and Apple will register the highest growths, with the former having Chromebooks account for nearly 50% of its total notebook shipment this year and the latter continuing to release MacBooks equipped with the M1 chip.

The market intelligence firm does expect a slowdown next year.

The pandemic has gradually been brought under control in Europe and the US due to increased vaccinations. Therefore, the slowdown of demand in the overall notebook market and in education sector bids will not come into force until 4Q21, during which notebook shipment is expected to reach 58 million units, a 3% QoQ decrease.

At the same time, the fact that notebook manufacturers overbooked certain components, which subsequently resulted in additional inventory, will likely have implications in 4Q21 as well. Going forward, although notebook demand will likely slow in 2022, the normalization 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% YoY.

The phenomenal performance and battery life offered by M1 Macs has left Intel struggling to compete, though rival chipmaker Qualcomm thinks that ex-Apple chipmakers will give it an edge.

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