The deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) has claimed more than 2,500 lives in mainland China and infected more than 80,000 people across the globe. The outbreak has caused major disruption throughout the tech industry, with huge trade shows getting cancelled and companies like Apple expecting to miss their forecasts, and Samsung temporarily shutting down one of its factories.
While the outbreak has had an adverse impact on the production of all electronic products, there is one device that is actually benefiting from the virus in China and that's the tablet.
Tablet demand worldwide
Apple is considered as the creator of the "tablet" category with the launch of the iPad in 2010. The demand for the iPad has seen a slump over the past few years with the company reporting an 11.2 percent decline during the company's first fiscal quarter of 2020 despite the holiday shopping season.
This could be because consumers started realizing that tablets need not be updated every two years like smartphones, and since smartphones these days are already equipped with massive displays, many found that they don't feel the need to purchase a tablet after all.
Why Tablet demand in China has surged after the outbreak?
The spread of the Coronavirus in China has forced several workers in the mainland to work from home. As a result, the demand for tablets in the country has exploded, as pointed out by Digitimes. Moreover, many schools are turning to tablets to teach students who are forced to stay indoors due to the ongoing situation in the country using online teaching courses.
Since retail stores have closed down their shutters, people are purchasing the tablets via e-commerce platforms, where a 32GB 10.2-inch Apple iPad is available for the US dollar equivalent of $355.50. The 128GB variant of the same device is priced at the equivalent of $440.87 USD.
While demand for tablets is increasing in China, supplies are down as the rapidly spreading Coronavirus has affected production. As of now, most Chinese factories that are manufacturing tablets are running at 50 percent capacity at best.