Sales of laptops, desktops, and peripherals surge as more people work from home


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In a nutshell: The disruption caused by Covid-19 has been hammering many industries, but some sectors are benefiting. Home productivity products such as monitors, PCs, and webcams have seen their sales shoot up, thanks to so many people now working and studying from home.

While the pandemic is having a devastating effect on the mobile phone market, consumers working and studying from home are finding they lack essential items—or need to update aging equipment—and are boosting the industry with their buying, according to market research company NPD group.

“Whether working or learning from home, productivity hardware is required, and with many Americans settling into this new reality, we saw historic sales increase over the first two weeks of March,” said Stephen Baker, NPD group’s vice president of technology and mobile.

NPD reports that, compared to the same period last year, router sales increased 29 percent, mouse sales increased 31 percent, laptops and desktops were both up 40 percent, and keyboards saw a 64 percent jump. Several items experienced sales increases of over 100 percent, including docking stations (118 percent), PC headsets (134 percent), PC monitors (138 percent), and webcams (179 percent).

Speaking to Yahoo Finance, IDC research vice president Linn Huang said most of the devices being bought were leftovers from the winter season when retailers stocked up over fears that the China-US trade war would impact sales. He warned supply might be strained in Q2 as factories in China slowly return to standard output following the Covid-19 outbreak, causing a lag time in making device parts.

“By the time we go into Q3,” Huang said, “we could be months into a global recession, and so we’re concerned about how consumer confidence will track then.”

Another industry benefiting from people staying at home is the video game and console market. After experiencing drastic declines in recent months as people wait for their successors, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One saw a surge in sales following lockdowns around the world. Video games sales, both downloads and physical, were also up.

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I knew that was inevitable.

Microcenter near me was allowed to remain open during the quarantine because they were deemed "essential" ( sacrificial). They practice social distancing with the manager only allowing 20 in at a time and having people stand 6 feet apart, marked by tape on the floor.

I've been in Microcenter at least twice since this started for home videoteleconferincing tech.
I miss Microcenter (Cincinnati) so bad. Being able to walk in and cruse the store was the best boredom breaker I had but with all the ice and snow a move South was necessary .... sigh. Of course with all the new success the Tech Industry is going to demand a new virus every year to boost sales .....
I can see the webcam sales are the highest (+179%), I probably wouldn't be surprised if you couldn't find one in time.

here's a tip: if you got an older Android phone, you can turn it into a wired webcam with DroidCam app from the playstore. it's FREE and you just have to enable "USB Debugging" (which is easy to do) and use a usb cable. there's a wifi connection route but it's spotty so wired solution is still the best. I successfully turned my LG G4 into a wired webcam and man the video is amazing even for a 5-yo phone. just saved myself $35 from investing in a webcam for my desktop pc.
If you're into stocks, Nvidia & AMD are expected to see massive sales increase because GPUs are essential to datacentres. The increased demand in online bandwidth has led to the need to expand datacentres. Also, gaming got a huge boost as can be seen by Steam setting record numbers of concurrent users. Both AMD & Nvidia report in a month and they're still 20% off their pre-covid highs. Micron already reported, and they can't meet the demand for RAM due datacentre expansion and people buying computers/laptops to work from home.

Interesting times, and tech geeks can benefit financially by investing in stocks of tech companies they're already quite familiar with.