Lower spending in the education sector is a major factor in PC shipments — including tablets — falling 14% to 105 million units in the second quarter of 2022, according to an analysis by Canalys, a global technology market analyst firm.
Inflation, COVID-19 lockdowns in China and drops in consumer spending were also among reasons cited for the second consecutive quarter of decline in shipments.
Chromebooks were particularly affected by lower education sales, with annual growth dropping 57.4% year over year to 5.1 million units shipped in Q2.
K-12 schools received an unprecedented influx of federal aid during the pandemic as they transitioned to remote learning amid building closures. As part of that transition, districts invested heavily in laptops and tablets to send devices home with students, and many of those tech tools aren’t yet in need of replacement.
A 2022 Consortium for School Networking national survey, conducted in January and February of more than 1,500 K-12 IT leaders, found that 83% of high schools, 86% of middle schools and 80% of grades 3-5 now have 1:1 device programs. That compares to much lower rates of 66% in high school, 69% in middle school and 43% in K-5 prior to the pandemic in 2020.
School systems bought a "significant amount of devices in the past two years, and have enough devices for students for now,” Mikako Kitagawa, an analyst with Gartner, a research and consulting firm, told K-12 Dive.
“Using the devices in the classroom has become a regular practice, so that schools will keep buying the devices going forward," Kitagawa said. "But it will be a while to see the growth driven by the replacement demand.”