There is no part of our lives where the coronavirus has not been affected including the tech industry which has impacted negatively – but there has also been some positive effects.
We’ve seen a lot of tech companies who have factories in China hit with severe production delays and reduced output as the country enforced strict quarantine measures.
There are supply chain issues also putting a strain on production and these are yet to return to normal levels. As a result we’ve seen iPhone shortages and delays with some product releases including the highly-anticipated Motorola Razr folding phone which was supposed to be released on February 24.
During the coronavirus crisis many Australians have also been forced to work from home and are taking this change as an opportunity to upgrade their laptop or desktop computer.
This has also forced people to really take a look at their home internet and, in particular, their wi-fi to cope with the extra load on their network.
Not only are they using data for their regular streaming and online usage but now, because you’re working from home, there is additional load with video conferencing and downloading and uploading documents and other content.
As a result, sales of routers and mesh wi-fi systems have seen an increase.
The first wave of customers to do this were those who first subscribed to Netflix years ago and wanted to optimise their wireless network to watch 4K content on their smart TVs without buffering.
And of course subscriptions to video conferencing services like Zoom and GoToMeeting have also increased significantly.
With so many shutdowns and people being forced to self-isolate and/or work from home, people are also buying up products that will allow them to stay home for extended periods.
We can confirm sales of chest freezers have spiked across all stores as people panic buy food, meat and other things that can be frozen.
Our electrician friends tell us they are being asked to install additional power points in people’s homes to plug in these extra standalone freezers.
Sales of coffee machines have also increased way above normal levels so customers can still have their coffee without leaving the house during the coronavirus crisis.
There was a similar move just after 9/11 in 2001 with people choosing to stay home rather than risk going out in wake of the biggest terrorist attack in history.
This was referred to at the time as “cocooning” where people spent money on products like flat screen TVs, home theatre systems and audio products so they could entertain themselves at home.
Even before the compulsory shutdown of cinemas, we were already seeing people look around for a better and larger TV and home entertainment system so they can enjoy an even higher quality experience at home.
Sales of smart products like wire-free cameras, video doorbells and sensors have also surged.
This has been put down to the fact that people have more time on their hands to complete those projects they had always meant to tackle.
One of these was obviously setting up smart home devices in their home.
And, of course, having increased home security is also another benefit.
Reports from Belkin, Cygnett and Laser indicate they are selling a lot more portable chargers batteries so customers can charge their mobiles .
They are also reporting increased sales for cables so users can connect and charge their mobile device.
The one positive out of all of this is realising many of us can still continue to work from home and conduct business as usual.
In fact, we’re predicting employers will realise they can still run their businesses without their employees being in the office.
They might also offer their staff the option of working remotely in the future.
These trying times are also showing that we can still keep in touch via video with family and friends even though we can’t be together in person.
Not only is this ideal for a work from home situation but also something we should consider to stay in touch with those most vulnerable to the coronavirus who are in isolation or in an aged-care facility.