Covid-19 : HP sees spike in demand for PCs with work from home, e-classes

Topics HP India | computers | Laptops

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HP Inc is seeing increased demand across segments in India, including accessories, as more and more people work from home, and smaller businesses look for more secure devices.

"Logging in remotely presents its own set of challenges. It poses major threats to network security, leaving a wealth of sensitive information vulnerable to opportunistic cybercriminals, thus, making security one of the key concerns for both small and large organisations. This is crucial, as home internet networks may not have the same level of security an office might have. In such a scenario, users of all categories, especially enterprises and small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs), are going to look at personal computers (PCs) that provide mobility, but come with built-in features like long-term evolution connectivity and physical kill switches for webcams and other devices, to enhance security," said Vickram Bedi, senior director (personal systems), HP Inc.

The company on Wednesday reported declining quarterly sales globally, largely because of the disruption in its supply chain due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Revenue fell 11 per cent to $12.5 billion in the period ended April 30, said the Palo Alto, California-based company on Wednesday in a statement. 

In India, HP Inc retained its top position in the overall PC market with a share of 28.2 per cent in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020, according to the data from the International Data Corporation (IDC).

HP struggled with supplies of desktops, which led to fewer shipments than expected, and a 16.4 per cent  annual decline in total shipments. Its notebooks also saw marginal decline of 2.4 per cent year-on-year (YoY) in Q1 of 2020, IDC added. 

Chief Financial Officer Steve Fieler also said in a conference call after the results that the India market was impacted because of the lockdown - computers and related parts were termed non-essential and saw no sales/servicing.

"We have certain challenges delivering to our end-customers in countries which have imposed lockdown. Our logistics costs were also elevated," said Fieler. 

However, demand has increased as more and more people work from home and children also take to e-learning, with schools and classes shifting to an online learning mode. 

In addition to strong notebook demand, Bedi said there was "increased demand from enterprise customers to enable work from home for their large workforce. We are also seeing demand for HP Chromebook devices. The device offers cloud storage feature that works well for many enterprises and SMBs”.

Gaming continues to be the fastest-growing segment in the PC category for the past two years. “In some segments, it is growing more than 50 per cent YoY," he added. 

Another area showing early trends of greater adoption are accessories – from displays as people look to gear up for larger, high definition viewing to headphones for connecting to online meetings and entertainment, along with gaming accessories for better gameplay.

Gaming has been HP's fastest-growing category for the past two years, said Bedi, and in some categories, it has been growing at more than 50 per cent YoY.

However, as the lockdown restrictions lift in most parts of the country, and e-commerce as well as retail sales of laptops, computers, and related parts pick up, HP sees sales returning.

"With restriction on movement and business operations getting relaxed, we are gradually resuming our business operations. We have started opening our stores and service centres in accordance with government guidelines. We have a strong service network to support our customers and we are also providing remote service support to customers of all PC brands gratis," said Bedi. 

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