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Laptop Demand Plummeted in February

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Data from Digitimes research today found that the world's top five laptop vendors saw combined shipments dive almost 40% on month in February following the global outbreak of coronavirus

China is the world’s leading manufacturing hub for computer hardware, with over 90% of the notebook supply chain hosted there. Problems for tech shipments began as early as last month, according to Digitimes. 

Dell and Lenovo were the only global top-five brands to ship over 1 million notebooks in February, with Dell taking the prize as the largest brand worldwide for the second consecutive month. HP, Asustek and Apple all fell below this metric.

This is likely due in part to Dell having its ODM partners keep some workers at plants over the Lunar New Year holidays, while Lenovo’s production lines in Hefei, China were able to resume a production rate of nearly 60% even with the outbreak, the report said. 

And while Asus missed the 1 million shipments mark, it suffered a lower production decline than Dell, putting it in competition with Lenovo in maintaining its infrastructure.

HP, meanwhile, had a 50% decline for on-month February shipments, due to not arranging any Lunar New Year production and having factories located in Chongqing, where rules for resuming production after the outbreak were stricter. Apple’s stats, as expected, are less openly available.

Overall, China’s top three ODMs experienced a combined on-month decline of 42% in shipments last month, with Quanta dropping slightly more than the other two due to being slower to resume production. While China’s coronavirus situation does seem to be improving, Digitimes expects labor shortages to continue to impact notebook and laptop brands in the near future as ODMs struggle to obtain components from related makers.

  • Gurg
    My guess is that demand for laptops will be increasing due to companies asking their workers to stay at home and work remotely. Two of my lawyer kids are now working from their homes. My one daughter was going to order a new laptop, but I gave her my 17" gaming laptop to use until this blows over.

    Demand for webcams is also apparently very high as inventory is sold out at many retailers.
    Reply
  • shisai
    This article really describes the production levels as it affects the major brands. Demand is actually through the roof and has been increasing since February according to my Reps at Dell, CDW, Insight, and Lenovo among others. Most current gen business laptops (Win10 Pro) priced between $500-$1000 are completely sold out and have substantial wait times from the manufacturers. Its possible consumer aimed (win10 home) laptops are a different story.
    Reply
  • Chung Leong
    Gurg said:
    My guess is that demand for laptops will be increasing due to companies asking their workers to stay at home and work remotely.

    I doubt it. The demand is already baked in. In most workplace, you'd get a laptop unless you specifically need a desktop.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    Gurg said:
    My guess is that demand for laptops will be increasing due to companies asking their workers to stay at home and work remotely.
    Yeah, though the article clearly focuses on supply-side issues. It doesn't matter how high demand is, if manufacturers are unable to fulfill the orders.

    BTW, my team just hauled our desktops home from the office, due to VPN congestion.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    Chung Leong said:
    In most workplace, you'd get a laptop unless you specifically need a desktop.
    I insisted on a desktop, and my recent experience of using even a H-series Skylake i7 laptop (which they initially gave me to take home) confirms that as a wise choice.

    Part of the blame lies with my employer's IT department, which has so much crud running in the background that the fan is always audible and the battery life is horrible. And this is one of those laptops that weighs a ton, even though the screen is only like 15.8" and it has a NVMe SSD.
    Reply