“Lack of supply” for PCs has become a real issue as demands for PCs have made a rapid increase. Although there have been many orders for PCs as schools have turned to online education and people have been working at home due to COVID-19, it has become difficult for South Korea’s PC industry to deliver products on time as it is difficult to secure necessary parts and plants in China have not been on normal operations. The PC industry has been very vigilant on this current trend that it is enjoying despite the world going through a slump.
ETLAND stated that its PC sales in March increased by 40% compared to that of February and by 22% compared to that of March in 2019. In addition to PC sales, its sales in tablet PCs and other IT devices also increased. Lotte Hi-Mart also saw its laptop sales in March increased by 20% compared to that of February. Its desktop sales increased by 15%.
Even more dramatic change has been taking place online. On DANAWA, laptop sales between the first day of March and the end of the third week increased by 52% compared to that of the entire month of February. Custom PC sales in the first quarter increased by 32% compared to that of the first quarter of 2019. DANAWA experienced its biggest March sales ever. South Korean companies such as Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics and foreign companies such as ASUS are also enjoying increased sales. They are also seeing increased demands for webcams that are needed for online lecture and video conference.
While PC sales are normally concentrated in February before schools start in March, demands for PCs were concentrated in March this year as the first day of school has been postponed to April. Ever elementary, middle, and high schools will start their semesters online starting from the 9th until the 30th of this month.

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<South Korea’s PC and IT device industries are enjoying an unseasonable boom as South Korean schools set to begin their semesters online for the first time ever. Amount of PC sales in March at Lotte Hi-Mart increased by 15% compared to that of February. Consumers are examining laptops displayed at Lotte Hi-Mart’s Daechi branch. Staff Reporter Lee, Donggeun | foto@etnews.com>

It is interesting to see increased sales have taken place especially in economic and middle-end products. While PCs that are priced at $1,230 (1.5 million KRW) had been the most popular items on DANAWA, IdeaPads that cost less than $408 (500,000 KRW) have been the most popular items after schools decided to start their first days of semester online. Because households with many children have to purchase additional PCs besides the ones that they already have, it is burdensome for them to buy another expensive item.
PC makers have also focused on advertising economic and middle-end products that are suitable for online learning in addition to their traditional academy marketing.
“First day of school taking place online and increased number of people who are telecommuting have had huge impact on the PC market.” said a representative for DANAWA. “There has been a rapid increase in number of people who purchased economic and middle-end products in a hurry in order to deal with digital transformation.”
There have been setbacks to supplies of products as orders have been flooding in.
“It has been difficult for us to secure parts and supply our products without any much issue as our plants in China have not been on normal operations.” said a representative for a PC maker. “It takes up to one month for one to order and receive a product.”
Staff Reporter Kim, Yongjoo | kyj@etnews.com & Staff Reporter Park, Sora | srpark@etnews.com