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My prediction: Apple’s Mac laptop sales will skyrocket in 2021

Apple’s M1 MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro could be in for some great sales in a bad situation.

Owing to the stay-at-home economy brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, not only did yearly notebook computer shipment surpass 200 million units for the first time ever, but the 22.5% year-over-year (YoY) growth was also the highest on record, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. 

However, the research group adds that, in comparison with the second quarter of 2020, during which production lines resumed operations, and notebook demand saw an uptick, the current global market is plagued by the ever-intensifying pandemic, with various countries instituting border control and lockdown measures, making it impossible at the moment to accurately forecast the state of the notebook market in the second half of 2021.

Nevertheless, TrendForce currently expects global notebook shipment for 2021 to reach 217 million units, an 8.6% increase YoY. The research group notes that it should be noted that the increasing popularity of distance education has also galvanized a rising demand for Chromebooks, which have contributed substantially to the growth of the overall market. Chromebooks accounted for 14.8% of the global notebook shipment in 2020, while this rate is expected to rise to 18.5% in 2021.

However, the Sellers Research Group (that’s me) thinks the M1 Mac laptops will far exceed Chromebook sales. TrendForce says that the Apple Silicon M1 processors, based on the ARM architecture and officially released in November 2020, reached a “mere” 0.8% market share for the year. Of course, many models of the new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are back-ordered for weeks. And when Apple releases the expected 14-inch MacBook Pro and a 16-inch MacBook Pro with M1 processors, I expect sale to skyrocket.

TrendForce says these products will increase Apple’s notebook market share to about 7%. However, the Sellers Research Group thinks that Apple’s entire laptop line (M1 and Intel systems) will reach at least 20% in 2021. And if you counted iPads as laptops, that figure would more than double, per my predictions. 

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.