High demand during pandemic means computers and associated electronics are hard to come by

Illustrative photo: StartupStockPhotos/Pixabay, CC0

Thanks to both a rise in demand and problems associated with delivery, there is a shortage of computers on the Czech market, the Czech News Agency reports. Businesses expect that the problem will continue into the second quarter of 2021, with things improving only later in the year.

As a result of counter-epidemic measures, which have resulted not only in people spending more time at home, but also in the increasing use of PCs for work, education and entertainment, computer sales almost doubled last year for several of the country’s leading vendors.

The country’s largest electronics retailer, Alza.cz, reports its year-on-year sales have doubled when it comes to gaming PCs and its laptop sales are also up by dozens of percentage points.

Its competitor, Mall, expects laptops, as well as associated accessories such as mice, keyboards and monitors, will not be in sufficient supply in this quarter of 2021. In general, there is a particular shortage when it comes to laptops with 15.6in screens in the price range around CZK 7,000-12,000.

Mall spokeswoman Pavla Hobíková told the Czech news agency that a partial improvement to the ongoing situation is expected to come in April, but that with some models this is more likely only during the second half of the year.

Meanwhile, one of the most domestically popular computer makers, Lenovo, reports that LCD panels for laptops and desktops are especially low in supply. This is due to the increase in sales of such items, which had not been entirely common before the onset of the pandemic. The lack of panels is also partly related to the rise in demand for these objects in car manufacturing. Another lacking component are chips, which are not being produced in sufficient quantity to satisfy the demand from both PC and automobile manufacturers.

Lenovo media representative for the Czech Republic Angelica Rais told the Czech News Agency that another important factor is the limitation on air transport. This, she says, has led to an increase in the time needed to move the products to their destination.

In 2019, 909,000 PCs and notebooks were sold in the Czech Republic, slightly fewer than the 928,000 sold the year before. The exact numbers of computers sold in 2020 are not yet available.