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Weaker education sector demand hurts tablet sales

laptop chromebook tablets ict market

Chromebooks, the laptops or tablets running Google’s Linux-based Chrome OS, continue to experience a decline in sales for the fourth consecutive quarter, according to a report released this week by technology analysts Canalys.

During the second quarter of the current year, Chromebooks were down 57 per cent year-on-year, with total global sales amounting to 5.1 million units.

This has been primarily attributed to falling demand from the education sector, where the budget-friendly Chromebooks, with some models being priced as low as $250, are particularly popular.

Tablets, which are also bundled in the same category as Chromebooks due to their similar attributes, sizing and pricing, were also down, with global sales peaking at 34.8 million units, a year-on-year decline of 11 per cent.

“The rapid fall in consumer and education demand has accelerated the decline in tablet shipments as we move further from the peak of the pandemic,” Canalys analyst Himani Mukka said.

“Inflation and fears of a recession are at the forefront of consumers’ minds, and spending on tablets has taken a backseat as the need for pandemic-era levels of use has fallen, however, unlike notebooks, tablets are not vital for business productivity, so commercial demand has not helped to offset the drop in consumer purchases,” she added.

Mukka further explained that despite the fact that consumer weakness is expected to continue having an impact during the third quarter, “back-to-school offers and new tablet launches ahead of the holiday spending season will provide a minor lift in demand”.

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