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K-12 PC device shipments hit by changing priorities, still outpace 2019 levels

Global PC devices shipped into K-12 education continue to outpace pre-pandemic levels, despite recent market contraction, according to a new market track report from Futuresource Consulting. The specialist research firm expects mobile PCs to have achieved sell-in volumes of 37 million in 2022, once all the numbers are in, which is a considerable reduction on 2021.

Changing priorities bring skills gaps into focus

“The teaching landscape has been reshaped,” says Michael Boreham, Senior Consultant, Futuresource Consulting. “Across the globe, devices purchased for learning continuity during lockdowns are now being integrated within the in-person teaching environment. And that can be a real challenge.

“For many schools, we’re seeing a continuing teaching skills gap. Instead of simple video conferencing functionality, PCs have taken on the harder-to-define role of core learning and teaching tool. From devising and implementing PC-based lesson plans, to using student information systems and learning management systems, there’s been a lot to absorb. That’s without considering the school wi-fi infrastructure upgrades needed to handle the increased bandwidth requirements.

“As a result, the investment focus has changed for many countries, and the requirement for buying devices has slowed, at least in the near term.”

Chromebooks continue to dominate

According to Futuresource, Chromebooks represented the largest proportion of mobile PC shipments, accounting for 39% of global market volume in 2022. Notebook shipments achieved a 36% share, marginally less than in 2021, with tablets growing their market share from 19% of total volumes in 2021, to 23% in 2022.

Futuresource notes that despite share growth, tablet demand has returned to close to pre-pandemic levels, although there is significant iPad demand in the USA, Germany and the UK, as well as strong Android activity in South Korea and several emerging markets in the APAC region.

Market shrinkage to give way to future growth

“Looking out across 2023, we expect device shipment activity to contract further,” says Boreham. “However, at an expected 35 million units, it will bottom out above the 2019 level. Moving into 2024 and beyond, the market will begin to climb, spurred on by post-pandemic device refreshment cycles and major projects.

For more information on Futuresource Consulting’s K-12 PC market track report for Q3, or to make a purchase, please contact


We’re heading to Bett once again! 

Bett 2023, hosted in London this March, will be a pivotal event in accelerating the development and recognition of education technology in the classroom. The Futuresource EdTech team will be on the show floor, connecting with other thought leaders in this space and covering Bett’s main topic and themes in our post-show report. With sustainability and innovation top of the agenda, the overarching theme of the event will focus on how we can transform the curriculum, with a focus on utilising pedagogy to reflect the accelerated use of technology to improve learner outcomes.

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Michael Boreham

About the author

Michael Boreham

Michael joined Futuresource Consulting in 1990 and is a Business Studies graduate from the University of Bedfordshire. Michael is a member of the Education team and leads the research and analysis in the K-12 PC Market.

Michael is involved with creating quarterly reports on the development of the Global Mobile PC Market. In previous roles Michael was part of the Home Entertainment team tracking content global industry developments and was part of the Futuresource team monitoring the emergence of Virtual Reality.

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