The demand for laptops and tablet PCs has increased manifold in major cities due to the evolving trend of online education which is being adopted as an alternate way of regular classes by schools, universities, and educational institutions.
Talking to ProPakistani, industry players said the demand for reconditioned laptops and tablet PCs has increased up to 40-50 percent in the last few days with the commencement of online classes in various schools and universities.
A majority of the schools have announced starting off the academic session from June 15 whereas some schools, colleges, and universities have already begun their learning activities through various online platforms from June 1. Even, the Sindh Government officials gave green signals to schools for continuing online classes across the province.
Subsequently, the sales of laptops and tablet PCs have increased significantly however parents usually prefer reconditioned laptops over new ones due to their temporary use to meet the learning requirement of their children with the commencement of their schools and universities in the future.
Due to a spike in demand and limited availability of stock in local markets, the prices have gone up by Rs. 2,000 to 4,000 on every reconditioned laptop, a Karachi-based dealer, Owais Ali said.
Buyers are looking for cheap used laptops for the children but these laptops are available for above Rs. 20,000 in the local market whereas reconditioned tablets are available ranging from Rs. 10,000 to 12,000 depending on the brand, he added.
Afzaal Khan, an Islamabad-based dealer, said the demand for laptops has gone up significantly in the federal capital during the last few days as buyers are looking for laptops and tablet PC for their school-going kids.
He pointed out that the high demand for these gadgets also caused a shortage of various accessories and spare parts in the market such as webcams, microphones, printers, scanners, speakers, resultantly causing their prices to increase.
According to the dealers, the demand and availability of tablets is lesser than the laptops. The reconditioned laptops of at least 2nd Generation Intel Core processors can meet the requirements of video-conferencing and online classes whereas tablets of similar configurations also work for the same purpose.
Ironically, reconditioned desktop PCs at half prices of laptops are not being sought by the buyers which could provide a similar utility to users on top of being upgradeable as well.
The demand for Smartphones has not picked up as expected because schools and teachers recommend laptops or tablets to students for online classes.
Khushnood Aftab, Regional President Computer Association of Pakistan said the demand for laptops is increasing across the country significantly, on the other hand, various software solutions providing online-classroom systems to schools are also high in demand.
The shipments of new and reconditioned laptops have been halted for the past few months from China and other countries, which have put pressure on the supplies.
Now, the import of laptops is carried out through cargo flights which are limited in frequency and high in logistic costs that result in high prices of laptops in the local market, he added. Besides high demand, the factor of Rupee depreciation against Dollar also increased the cost of laptops at the retail level.
Market players of the hardware computer industry foresee a consistent growth in the demand for laptops and tablets in the coming weeks as more educational institutes are adopting digital learning. On the other hand, the shipment of these gadgets is likely to improve with the gradually increasing cargo flights from China.