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Report: Coronavirus May Cause PC Sales to Drop 30%

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Global PC sales could fall 30% year-over-year in the first half of 2020 as COVID-19 threatens both supply and demand worldwide, DigiTimes (opens in new tab)reported today, citing unnnamed "industry sources." 

The supply problem could actually ease up in Q2 2020, DigiTimes said, as China recovers from the outbreak. China said Wednesday that it recorded no new cases of COVID-19 in the prior seven days, and production might resume as a result. Bloomberg (opens in new tab)reported. 

But that doesn't mean COVID-19's effect on the PC industry will be over. Companies also have to sell their products, of course, and measures taken to contain the pandemic might stymy those efforts. 

"With many cities in North America and Europe locked down and the EU closing its external borders, Amazon has also announced that its warehouses in the U.S. and the UK are only storing and shipping daily necessities from now on until April 5, and the move is expected to hinder PC sales during the period," DigiTimes said. 

The publication added that "Asustek has already estimated a 40% sequential drop in its first-quarter PC shipments, while most other PC brands are likely to see shipments nosedive," again citing anonymous industry sources.

It wouldn't be outrageous to assume that demand will fall (opens in new tab) as a result of COVID-19's broader economic impact (opens in new tab). Many people lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19 (and the containment measures it's prompted) and won't have spare income as a result.

Much of this is conjecture, though, or is based on DigiTimes' anonymous industry sources. We aren't going to realize the full impact COVID-19 will have on the PC industry--or, you know, our lives--this early in the pandemic's global outbreak.

Nathaniel Mott
Nathaniel Mott

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.

  • jkhoward
    I don’t believe that one bit. I work for an IT company and the amount of laptops businesses have been ordering so their employees can work from home is insane.
    Reply