Some 10.1 million 3G-, 4G- or 5G-enabled notebook PCs were sold worldwide in 2020, according to Strategy Analytics. These cellular-enabled laptops let their users stay connected all the time, even when their home WiFi network is out of range. The 5G rollout could help boost sales in the coming years.
With global shipments up 70% in 2020, the market for these "always connected" notebook PCs is growing fast. North America alone accounts for almost half of all sales, with Europe and the Asia-Pacific zone taking nearly all the rest. In total, around 26 million cellular-enabled PCs are now in use worldwide.
In 2020, 4G-enabled devices accounted for no less than 97% of cellular-enabled PC shipments, but 5G is expected to grow in market share, prospectively reaching 69% by 2025, according to Strategy Analytics' forecasts.
Qualcomm and Intel are the two key providers of 5G chips for these computers, which promise ultra-fast connection speeds on the move. With a cellular-enabled PC connected over 5G, users should be able to enjoy perfectly smooth livestream videos, use virtual reality (VR) tools or remotely control smart devices in the home, no matter where they may be (network coverage and quality permitting).