If you've been looking for a name-brand webcam at a reasonable price, you may be looking quite a bit longer. The market continues to deal with a supply shortage as the new telecommuting normal shows no signs of stopping. Though Logitech, the clear leader in webcams, told us in April that supplies would return to normal by May, it's still difficult to find one of the company's webcams -- especially its popular C920 series -- in stock at anywhere near the MSRP.
Perhaps because of Logitech shortages, new competitors are appearing almost daily and some have even made our list of the best webcams. However, the demand for Logitech cameras remains practically insatiable and the company says it's trying to keep up with demand but can't say when the shortages will subside.
“While we cannot commit to a specific date,” a Logitech PR representative explained to me over email today, “we are doing everything we can to increase the [webcam] supply, especially with the upcoming back to school season”
This comes months after our April 7th email interview with the company, where a representative confidently told us we could expect more webcams to hit store shelves in early-May. “We have aggressively increased production,” they explained. “We have every confidence that demand will be met in the next 4-6 weeks.”
Even big box stores were sure that Logitech webcams would come back into stock soon, with then-current B&H listings promising new stock would arrive in June.
However, as the pandemic continues and more states abandon re-opening procedures, webcams remain in as high a demand and as short a supply as they did back during the lockdown’s early days, and Logitech’s products are still either sold out or price-gouged in most stores.
“We have aggressively increased production,” Logitech repeated to me over email earlier today, before briefly delving into why supply is still so low. “However, due to high demand, we continue to sell out quickly leading to the ‘out of stock’ messages you see on our website.”
The representative then directed me to the company’s recent July 20th quarterly report for a more detailed explanation. Here, Logitech President and CEO Brecken P. Darrel told investors that “PC webcams continued the strong momentum exiting last quarter with Q1 sales more than doubling to the highest quarterly level in a decade...we’re ramping our capacity to meet demand, working to overcome component shortages as we do. We expect Q2 supply to improve, but still -- it still could remain pretty tight throughout the quarter.”
In both this presentation and our email interview, it’s clear that the company is now, wisely, avoiding setting expectations for when exactly we can expect supply to normalize again.
We don’t blame Logitech for initially overestimating production, given that states like California have made similarly overly optimistic calls. The pandemic is hard to predict.
Still, it seems like we’re going to have to wait a while for Logitech webcams to be readily available again- perhaps through the next financial quarter. In the meantime, you can buy some Logitech webcams marked up through third-party sellers on stores like Amazon- the normally $80 Logitech C920 is currently selling for $158 new on Amazon while the normally $50 Logitech C310 is currently selling for $67 used. Alternatively, you can check the official Logitech site, where webcams frequently enter and leave stock by the minute (the C920 shifted from being in-stock to being out-of-stock as I wrote this article) and there is a current order processing delay of up to 7 days.