Webcam, keyboard sales surge as workers set up home offices

Logitech camera, microphone, online meeting software tech sales increased 60%

Webcam and keyboard sales have surged during coronavirus as more workers set up home offices for the long term, 2020 earnings reports show.

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For example, computer software company Logitech International reported a 13.6-percent increase in sales in the first quarter of 2020 on Monday as more people work from home amid the pandemic, highlighting how people have made more long-term investments in home office supplies.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
LOGILOGITECH INTERNATIONAL S.A.82.55+1.10+1.35%

"Video conferencing, working remotely, creating and streaming content, and gaming are long-term secular trends driving our business," Logitech CEO Bracken Darrell said in a statement. "The pandemic hasn’t changed these trends; it has accelerated them."

Woman working on a laptop at home / iStock

The company's camera, microphone and online meeting software sales increased 60 percent. Keyboard, computer mouse and gaming headset sales increased 8 percent, according to the report.

In April, Market research group NPD tracked a 23-percent increase in general consumer tech sales year-over-year for the week ending on April 18 to nearly $1.8 billion, NPD Vice President Stephen Baker wrote in a Monday tweet.

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The NPD vice president added that work-from-home tech sales were up 67 percent in April, compared to 53 percent in March, and monitor sales doubled in five weeks to nearly 1.3 million sales.

Personal computer sales have increased by "at least 30 percent" during each of the past five weeks; Chromebook sales increased by 100 percent during each of those weeks. Windows sales, by contrast, went up 45 percent over the last five weeks, Baker said.

COVID-19 shelter in place and social distancing in effect. / iStock

People also bought more televisions than ever purchased outside a holiday. Additionally, sales grew for networking technology, headphones, printers, do-it-yourself components, microphones, range extenders, streaming players, TV mounts and soundbars.

The country's biggest desktop and laptop computer makers have also beat expectations so far in 2020 despite supply chain issues at China-based factories as a result of COVID-19.

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Apple beat expectations when the company reported quarterly revenue late last month of $58.3 billion for the three-month period ending in March, despite supply chain issues related to COVID-19 -- a modest increase of 1 percent compared to the same period one year ago.

Apple warned in February that it expected to fall short of its initial second-quarter guidance. At the time, company executives said  the  worldwide iPhone supply would be limited due to interruptions at its production facilities in China during the pandemic.

Elderly unrecognizable entrepreneur using a laptop. / iStock

Apple’s services segment includes the iCloud, Apple Card and Apple Pay, as well as the company’s news, music and entertainment offerings. The unit generated a company record of $13.34 billion in revenue for the quarter as Americans relied on technology to stay connected while sheltering in place. Revenue for iPhone sales, Apple’s most lucrative category, dropped 7 percent to $28.96 billion.

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Technology company Dell similarly reported a 1-percent increase in revenue to $92.2 billion for its fiscal 2020 fourth quarter. The company's fourth-quarter revenue increase 8 percent year-over-year in the same time period. Dell reported double-digit unit and revenue growth in commercial desktops and workstations, according to a press release.

Leen Nsouli, NPD's office supplies industry analyst, said in an April 22 statement that "the union of traditional supplies and technology" means tech manufacturers "positioned for the future are those adapting to create a complete and balanced model for consumers to easily travel from physical to digital under one umbrella."

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