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.
“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.”
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.
“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.
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