Logitech has “aggressively increased production to focus on more quantities of webcams” and has “every confidence that demand will be met in the next 4-6 weeks,” the webcam (and general accessories) maker told Tom’s Hardware today.
Webcam demand is high right now, as much of the world moves to a work-from-home (opens in new tab) ecosystem, due to the coronavirus (opens in new tab). Specifically, webcam sales (opens in new tab) are up 179% according to the NPD market research group. Unfortunately, this has led to shortages (opens in new tab) across more general sellers, like Amazon and Walmart, and even more tech-focused retailers, like Newegg.
As such, we've sought to help by writing a guide detailing the best webcams still available (opens in new tab)to customers as stock sells out. Here, we were able to include our personal favorite webcam, the Logitech C920, but added a note that stores with stock of it are hard to find and that listings are often marked up.
Not satisfied with that caveat, we reached out to Logitech to learn how COVID-19 has impacted its supply chain and when we can expect new webcam shipments to hit stores.
“With a dramatic shift in remote work, distance learning and telemedicine over the past few weeks, many Logitech products are in high demand across the globe,” a company representative told us over email. "Our factories are well-positioned to meet ‘normal’ demands of our business; however, the events of the last few weeks have significantly changed that demand, and we are increasing production to meet those needs.”
A B&H listing says it expects more Logitech webcams in June (opens in new tab). Logitech confirmed that better availability by then and, in fact, said we should see more availability by May.
“We have aggressively increased production to focus on more quantities of webcams in order to meet the high demand. We are utilizing every distribution option to improve supply and each week more supply is coming in to fulfill market demand,” the rep said. “We have every confidence that demand will be met in the next 4-6 weeks.”
Since the pandemic has worsened, we've seen pricing gouging on Logitech and other webcams and office products. We asked Logitech about the situation, and the vendor said it has limited control over the issue.
“While Logitech sets an MSRP, we do not set or control retail pricing," the spokesperson explained. "Unfortunately, we have seen the occasional price gouging by bad actors on some online marketplaces. Where possible, we report them as soon as we become aware of it.”
So, Logitech is aware of the situation, but can’t do much about it. On that note, it might be best to wait to buy any Logitech webcams until 4-6 weeks from now, when the company claims it will be able to meet the current high demand.
While webcam makers are seeing more demand from individuals working at home, public sector entities, such as schools, hospital and governments, are also impacting demand.
“With the proliferation of cloud apps like Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Google, we’re seeing a lot of meetings take place over video...Individuals as well as businesses and institutions are all looking for these solutions,” Logitech’s representative said.
Going into specific needs, she said Logitech is “seeing business use cases for individuals who have switched to communicating or sharing content over video, such as fitness instructors and gyms, educators and hospitals leveraging telehealth.”
The vendor also had an explanation as to why so many people and groups are buying external webcams when most laptops (opens in new tab)come with built-in cameras.
"While laptop and other built-in cameras can be useful, webcams provide higher quality video. This offers users more versatility to where they can set their workspace based on lighting, for example," the rep said.