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Covid-19: Home work, e-learning spark surge in sale of laptops, communication tools

Issac John /Dubai Filed on March 23, 2020 | Last updated on March 24, 2020 at 05.45 am


Electronics outlets reported up to 10% surge in demand for laptops and other communication devices.

Demand for laptops and communication devices in the UAE has been recording a remarkable surge ever since public and private sector establishments and educational institutions started to promote work from home (WFH) and remote learning policies to help slow the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Electronics outlets in Dubai on Monday reported up to 10 per cent surge in demand for laptops and other communication devices over the past weeks as educational establishments across the nation remained closed for a month.

"As working and learning from home have become an inevitable trend in the UAE like in other technologically advanced countries in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, our outlets have been witnessing a rising demand for laptops and other communication accessories," said Ashish Panjabi, Chief Operating Officer, Jacky's Retail.

"The first wave of demand came from educational institutes and students who have resorted to remote learning techniques following the closure of schools and colleges. The second wave occurred when the banks and government departments started to encourage WFH policies. We are expecting another round of demand surge with the private sector poised to embrace WFH system," said Panjabi.

"This wave of WFH is creating an unprecedented base of new users as well as a rapid rise in usage among existing users that will leave a big impact on technology adoption and growth in years to come in the UAE. Indeed, Covid-19 could permanently shift working and educational patterns as businesses, governments and schools that are forced to embrace remote working and learning get used to its comfort and convenience," said Abdul Moiz Khan,CEO & MD, Fursa Consulting.

Globally, technology providers across the board are reporting unprecedented growth in usage. , Amazon Chime, AT&T, Avaya Spaces, Bluejeans, CafeX, Cisco Webex, Google Hangouts Meet, Lifesize, LogMeIn GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, PGi, RingCentral, Slack, and Zoom are among the many providers that have either announced free services or extended the reach and removed time limits for existing free offers. Cloud video conferencing service provider Pexip has seen 200 per cent growth in cumulative usage over the past month, with peak usage surging to nearly six times the peak in January and February. While BlueJeans has seen three times global usage growth, Fuze has seen an increase in meetings by 251 per cent over the past few weeks.

A South Korean trade ministry official said cloud computing has boosted sales of server chips, "while an increase in telecommuting in the United States and China has also been a main driver of huge server demand."

In Japan, laptop maker Dynabook reported brisk demand which it partly attributed to companies encouraging teleworking. Rival NEC Corp said it has responded to demand with telework-friendly features such as more powerful embedded speakers.



Issac John

Editorial Director of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.

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