Tamil Nadu

COVID-19: Work from home leads to spike in demand for laptops, but supplies hit

Photograph used for representational purposes only   | Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

With an increasing number of companies looking at work from home options amid the COVID-19 outbreak, there has been a sudden spike in the demand for laptops. However, there is a shortage in the market due to supply issues, according to industry players.

“The demand has been very sudden, and more companies have been looking to procure laptops, as they adopt work from home options. The availability is not at a level to match the demand in time,” K. Purushothaman, former director at Nasscom, said.

“For large corporates the supply works on built-to-order basis and is shipped as per requirements. In case of this segment, no one holds inventory, unlike in the consumer segment. Over the last 45 days the demand has spiked due to the work from home policies adopted by firms,” Mahesh R, Business Head, Digital Products, Croma, said.

Mr. Mahesh pointed out that the majority of production happens in China and most factories were based in Wuhan, and as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, supplies have been impacted. “Normally what happens, is that those who need supply in April, will have to shift stocks in February, which is essentially the Chinese New Year time frame. This was impacted due to the extended holiday there,” Mr. Mahesh said. He also pointed out that Intel accounted for 85% of the processors and they have been facing shortages for the last one year and are focusing on premium models.

The annual size of the Indian personal computing market (desktops, laptops, tablets) is 12 million, out of which 4.5 million is the consumer segment and the remaining is the commercial segment. “The processor issue and supplies impacted due to the situation in China and the weaker rupee pushing up prices will all result in not being able to cater to the current demand. Also, our outlets in malls have been shut,”” Mr. Mahesh said.

Jaipal Singh, Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India, pointed out that the entire supply is dependent on China. IDC India is a research firm which tracks PC shipments. “Even now, factories are operating at only half capacity in China, and this is expected to continue till April. So it would be difficult to meet the demand. Companies are looking at buying refurbished devices and also at rental options to reduce the business impact,” he said.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 7:58:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/covid-19-work-from-home-leads-to-spike-in-demand-for-laptops-but-supplies-hit/article31117011.ece

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