Laptops powered by Google's nifty Chrome OS have proven to be great machines for students or just about anyone looking for a reliable and affordable laptop for day-to-day computing needs. The incredible growth witnessed by the Chromebook market in Q3 2020 is a testament to their usefulness in a world that's been rattled by the COVID-19 pandemic. Continuing this blistering growth, the market has quadrupled in Q4 2020 over the same period a year ago.

According to data compiled by research firm Canalys, 11.2 million Chromebooks were shipped alone in the last quarter of 2020 — a massive jump from the 2.9 million units in the last quarter of 2019. Similar to Q3 2020, HP led the growth in Q4 2020 by shipping 3.5 million units.

Chromebook market growth in 2020.

Overall, 2020 saw the shipment of a total of 30.7 million units, a more-than-100% jump from the 14.7 million units that were sold in 2019. HP was the number one vendor with 9.4 million units and a 31% market share. Lenovo and Dell held the second spot with a 22% and a 15% market share, respectively. Samsung witnessed 400% annual growth and pushed out Asus to grab the fifth spot on the charts with a 6% market share.

This is what Canalys Research Director Rushabh Doshi had to say on the rocketing growth of the Chromebook market in 2020:

Demand for Chromebooks is through the roof. With many countries being forced to accelerate their digital education plans in the wake of additional lockdowns, schools and universities are clamoring for easy to deploy solutions and Google’s digital offerings for education are proving quite popular over rival platforms, especially in the US and Western Europe. With governments in many countries racing towards a much needed 1:1 device to student ratio, Chromebook demand for education is expected to remain strong through 2021. Outside education, there has also been mounting interest from consumers and traditional commercial customers in seeking out Chromebooks to ensure affordable continuity of business or personal computing.

What's particularly interesting about Chromebooks is that they are yet to penetrate potentially huge markets such as India. Thanks to the increasing availability of affordable internet — something Chromebooks heavily rely on — they have the potential to drastically increase their market share by entering new markets that weren't as accessible or viable before.