Report: Windows share of notebook market fell below 80% for first time

Chromebooks gobbled up market share during the pandemic, according to TaskForce. Apple is seen as holding a 7% beachhead.

From “Global Notebook Computer Shipment Expected to Reach 217 Million Units in 2021, with Chromebooks Accounting for 18.5% of Total Shipment, Says TaskForce” posted Wednesday:

Owing to the stay-at-home economy brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, not only did yearly notebook computer shipment surpass 200 million units for the first time ever, but the 22.5% YoY growth was also the highest on record, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations…

With regards to operating systems, Windows remains the dominant choice in the notebook market. However, due to the rapid growth of Chromebooks in 2020, Windows’ market share dropped below 80% for the first time ever. Windows is unlikely to recover its lost market shares in the short run, since its decline is expected to persist going forward. TrendForce expects the market shares of Windows, Chrome OS, and MacOS to each stabilize at about 70-75%, 15-20%, and below 10%, respectively…

The Apple Silicon M1 processors, based on the ARM architecture and officially released in November 2020, reached a mere 0.8% market share for the year. Apple adopted the ARM architecture primarily to optimize MacBook performances. Along with the release of Apple Silicon M1, Apple has also completed the integration between its hardware, software, and SaaS platforms. The company is expected to release 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, both of which will be equipped with Apple’s in-house CPUs, after 2Q21, raising Apple’s notebook market share to about 7%. The 7% and 20% market shares from Apple and AMD, respectively, mean that Intel will be faced with increasing competitive pressure in the market and need to deliver an appropriate product strategy in response.

My take: Chromebooks and cheap Windows laptops in a price war while on the high end Apple’s MacBook margins hold steady. A familiar pattern.


  1. Greg Lippert said:
    “Apple Silicon M1 processors … released in November 2020, reached a mere 0.8% market share for the year.”

    Mere??? That’s darn good for less than 2 months of existence.

    January 7, 2021
    • Robert Paul Leitao said:
      Greg: That’s the type of misleading coverage one gets when journalists focus on market share numbers. Apple doesn’t pursue market share. Apple pursues customer relationships. Chromebooks can be picked-up for under $200. That’s not a market Apple will enter. Apple has virtually zero market share for laptops and desktops costing under $1,000. Apple’s market share numbers will always be deceiving low if the PC market isn’t segmented by quality and price.

      January 7, 2021
  2. Fred Stein said:
    It seems iPad are not included. I’ll email the report’s authors.

    January 7, 2021

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