COMPUTER and laptop shops in Cebu City have seen a huge increase in their sales, driven by the shift from traditional to e-learning classes among students and the continued implementation of the work-from-home scheme for workers.
According to Jason Yap, manager of Nutech Marketing, which operates physical branches located in major malls in the city, its sales have doubled.
“It started during the first round of the general community quarantine. We sold brand-new computers, desktops and laptops,” he told SunStar Cebu.
However, with the increase of sales, demand also doubled which led to a shortage of supply.
“We don’t have stocks to give because there is a worldwide shortage of laptops now since it is selling fast. There is a shortage of supply,” he said.
Yap said there were no increases in the prices of these digital tools. Prices of computers and laptops range from P18,000 to P100,000.
But with the demand from students for online classes and from work-from-home employees, only high-end laptops are left in their stocks.
Yap said they sourced their laptops and computer units from their suppliers in Manila.
Online classes in private schools have started even before the Department of Education moved the opening of classes to Oct. 5, 2020.
In a separate interview, Jay Pastor, managing partner of Xtreme Gadgets, said their stocks which are a mix of second-hand and brand-new laptops were also depleted due to the huge demand for online classes.
“Our sales increased by 40 percent. But there really is a shortage for laptops,” he said.
Xtreme Gadgets, which has a physical store in Parkmall in Mandaue City, offers same day deliveries as advertised in its Facebook page. Besides laptops, it also sells tablets and smartphones as well as noise-cancelling headsets, headsets with microphones, tripods, phone holders and laptop tables.
Secondhand laptops are priced from P14,000 to P20,000 while the brand-new ones start from P22,000.
For now, Pastor said they are focused on selling tablets with a price range from P8,000 to P10,000.
The second quarter of 2020 ended well for the traditional PC market, comprised of desktops, notebooks and workstations, with global shipments growing 11.2 percent year over year reaching a total of 72.3 million units, according to preliminary results from the International Data Corp. (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker.
As restrictions around the world tightened in the first few weeks of the quarter, demand for notebooks continued to grow to maintain continuity of business and schooling for many communities, the IDC said.
“Despite logistics issues early in the quarter, the cost and frequency of both air and sea freight inched closer to normal. This, combined with PC production ramping up (and in some cases surpassing previous levels), meant that retailers and other distributors around the world had ample supply and were ready to fulfill the surge in demand,” the market intelligence firm said.
“The strong demand driven by work-from-home as well as e-learning needs has surpassed previous expectations and has once again put the PC at the center of consumers’ tech portfolio,” said Jitesh Ubrani research manager for IDC’s Mobile Device Trackers. “What remains to be seen is if this demand and high level of usage continues during a recession and into the post-Covid world since budgets are shrinking while schools and workplaces reopen.”
“Early indicators suggest strong PC shipments for education, enterprise and consumer, muted somewhat by frozen small and medium businesses,” said Linn Huang, research vice president, Devices and Displays at IDC. “With inventory still back ordered, this goodwill will continue into July. However, as we head deeper into a global recession, the goodwill sentiment will increasingly sour.”