New work order: Notebook sales hit an all-time high, courtesy work-from-home amid Covid
The lockdown and work from home (WFH) saw demand for notebooks hit an all-time high, with even companies placing large-scale orders for employees to ensure business continuity. Notebook sales saw a whopping 105.5% y-o-y growth during the April-June period.
As per analysts, Q2FY2020 has had some bright moments for the domestic PC market as decline in desktops and workstations was to an extent arrested by the huge demand for laptops. Traditionally, January-March sees an increase in demand, but due to Covid, the pent up demand shifted to Q2. Besides, WFH further perked up the market for notebooks.
According to IDC, most IT services, global enterprises, and consulting companies placed large orders for notebook PCs. This led to an all-time high of enterprise notebook purchases with shipments growing by 105.5% y-o-y in Q2FY2020. Small and medium businesses (SMBs) also increased their procurement of notebooks with relatively moderate growth of 12.1% on an annual basis.
“Demand for notebooks exceeded expectations with most of the vendors exiting the quarter with minimum inventory. Despite supply and logistics challenges in first half of the quarter, companies executed most of the large orders in Q2. Also, many companies shifted their employees to notebooks for the first time; this change is surely going to alter their procurement strategy in the long term with a mix of in-office and remote workforce becoming a reality for many organisations,” said IDC India market analyst (PC devices) Bharath Shenoy.
With most of India under lockdown, IT companies such as TCS, HCL, Infosys and Wipro have all announced arrangements for employees to work from home for the foreseeable future. The pandemic forced most IT companies in India to forego their strict office-based working policies in favour of adopting new hybrid working arrangements to ensure business continuity during the lockdown.
Despite the uptick in demand for notebooks, both IDC and Canalys project challenging times ahead for the traditional PC market, which includes desktops, notebooks and workstations.
IDC India associate research manager (client devices) Jaipal Singh said as most of big orders for business continuity planning have been more or less executed in Q2, the PC market is now expected to face challenges posed by Covid-19 and the looming economic situation. Enterprise buying will come back down to earth and SMB demand is expected to remain muted for some quarters.