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Webcam Sales up 179%, Monitors Grow 138% and Other Coronavirus Sales Records

Computer Sales Up
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The NPD market research group reported record U.S. sales of computers and productivity peripherals in the first three weeks of March, as most of the country's workforce adapts to the new work-from-home status quo, starting at a 31% uptick for mice and ranging all the way up to a 179% increase for webcams, as reported by Yahoo Finance Sunday. 

“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,” NPD group vice president of technology and mobile Stephen Baker said in a March 30 blog post

This mirrors a statement IDC vice president of market research group Linn Huang made to Yahoo Finance, characterizing the new demand as a “‘stuck-at-home’ bubble."

“There are a lot of casual sort of tech users nowadays who are comfortable carrying most of their computer needs in their pocket with their phone. And now that they’re stuck at home, they are realizing how important the other stuff is," Huang told Yahoo Finance. 

Describing products becoming personal needs that are typically supplied by an office, NPD’s numbers show a 29% increase in router sales, a 31% increase in mouse sales, a 40% increase in both laptops and desktops, a 64% increase in keyboards, a 118% increase in docking stations, a 134% increase in PC headsets, a 138% increase in PC monitors and a massive 179% increase in webcams (naturally, it's become hard to find one -- for help, here are the best webcams you can still buy)  compared to the same time period in 2019. 

All of this reflects statements from Nvidia two weeks ago about increasing demand in its mobile, workstation, virtual machine and cloud sectors.

March's pandemic-fueled PC sales increase also marks the first instance of PC sales numbers going up, aside from a mild 2.7% bump in 2019, in eight years

However, IDC’s Huang isn’t confident about the industry’s near future beyond that. The exec told Yahoo Finance that most of the current tech stock is leftover from a winter season overstocking influenced by the U.S./China trade war. Huang said Q2 might feature a dwindling supply in comparison, as China recovers from factory closures caused by Lunar New Year and the coronavirus.

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

Tom’s Hardware has largely reported on recovering supply chains within the past few weeks, though coronavirus-related shipping roadblocks could still reduce consumer availability for tech in the next quarter.

  • Makaveli
    And price gouging on those items are also up 40% lol.
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    Webcams eh? Gotta work from home... heh... but yeah there's a lot of items that are selling at an abnormal rate. I was shocked for a moment by the lack of good deals on decent hair clippers, until the "Oh, right" light went off in my head.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    alextheblue said:
    I was shocked for a moment by the lack of good deals on decent hair clippers, until the "Oh, right" light went off in my head.
    Heh, I've been foreseeing myself just shaving it all off.
    Reply
  • Bamda
    I purchased a laptop cooling pad and the shipping is 2 weeks. :(
    Reply
  • g-unit1111
    Bamda said:
    I purchased a laptop cooling pad and the shipping is 2 weeks. :(

    Yeah I bought a webcam and it said the shipping time was going to be April 17th at the earliest. At least I got the model I wanted.
    Reply
  • Gurg
    I think this analysts projections for the third quarter are way off. Businesses and production should be restarting in the third quarter and the economy will explode with pent up consumer demand. In the tech world the new Nvidia, AMD and Intel offerings should be ready to debut then. Despite having purchased a 2080 super August 2019 it is my patriotic duty to purchase a 3080 or the ti model in the 3rd or 4th quarter funded by the government $1200 stimulus checks.
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    Bamda said:
    I purchased a laptop cooling pad and the shipping is 2 weeks. :(
    g-unit1111 said:
    Yeah I bought a webcam and it said the shipping time was going to be April 17th at the earliest. At least I got the model I wanted.
    Newegg still seems to be shipping stuff out pretty quick. Amazon is a complete fustercluck.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    Gurg said:
    I think this analysts projections for the third quarter are way off. Businesses and production should be restarting in the third quarter and the economy will explode with pent up consumer demand.
    That's certainly optimistic. I hope you're right, but I fear you're not.

    Unemployment numbers are swelling, massively. Lots of businesses are done, in spite of promised stimulus and loans. And the hardest-hit is going to be the developing countries that don't have good health infrastructure, enough medical staff even in normal circumstances, or money to compete in the bidding war for PPE and medical supplies. This matters because those countries are important markets for some US businesses, which means their stock prices, capital expenditures, and hiring are all going to remain stagnant.

    You're right that there will be some pent-up demand, but consumers also spend less when they don't have jobs or when they're less optimistic about the economic outlook, and this has really shaken people's faith in the economy.

    Gurg said:
    funded by the government $1200 stimulus checks.
    Most people need those for food, rent, and bills. Even people who still have their jobs are probably going to use that money to pay down debt, rather than going out and buying a new phone or GPU.

    Personally, I'm much more focused on investing than spending. A down market is the best time to get in, if you have any money to spare.
    Reply