Apple got some of its MacBook sales mojo back last quarter thanks to discounts on the MacBook Air, according to the research firm Strategy Analytics. The company sold a record 6.5 million MacBooks in Q3 2021, up 10 percent over last year — no doubt contributing to its blockbuster Mac quarter. Meanwhile, Chromebook sales actually declined for the first time since the pandemic started, IDC reported.
Laptop sales in general were up eight percent over last year to 66.8 million units, due largely to commercial and educational sales. That was aided in part by "higher discounts on premium products like MacBook Air and gaming notebooks," according to Strategy Analytics.
Sales could have been even higher if not for a shortage of components and higher freight costs that drove prices higher and caused some delays. Lenovo topped the sales list for the fourth quarter in a row with 15.3 million units shipped, with HP, Dell, Apple and ASUS rounding out the top five.
Chromebook and tablet sales didn't fare so well though, according to IDC. Chromebook sales tumbled by 29.8 percent year-over-year to 6.5 million units, thanks largely to "saturation" in the education market. "Many schools and governments blew out their budgets to provide devices for remote learning and even consumers aggressively purchased devices for learning in 2020," the firm wrote. Lenovo again topped the sales list for Chromebooks, followed by Acer, Dell, HP and Samsung.
Tablet sales slowed 9.4 percent to 42.3 million units, due to reduced demand and limited supply. The exception to that trend was Apple, which saw iPad sales grow 4.6 percent over last year to 14.7 million units. That dominated the category, as Samsung sold just over half that number (7.5 million), followed by Amazon, Lenovo and Huawei.