The sudden surge in demand for laptops triggered by work from home (WFH) culture and online learning, has pushed up prices of new and refurbished laptops by 30-40%.
In the last three months, prices of refurbished laptops have gone up by Rs 5,000 to 8,000, depending on the configuration. New laptops powered by Intel processors have seen an average price rise of Rs 12,000 to Rs 15,000, according to retailers.
The cost of a 4-year old refurbished Dell Latitude laptop with i5 processor which was Rs 16,000 three months ago, is now 25,000. A Lenovo T450 business laptop is now sold at Rs 24,000 from Rs 16,000 to Rs 18,000 before the lockdown, according to refurbished laptop sellers.
"There was a sudden spike in demand for laptops in early April as companies adopted work from home. The demand dropped in May and picked up again in early June as schools resumed with online classes. While MNCs are buying new laptops, smaller organisations are looking for refurbished laptops," said Gurudatt, founder of Rashi E-waste Solutions Pvt Ltd, which sells refurbished laptops.
Branded players have seen good traction for laptops, chromebooks, and gaming laptops among others as most people are at home and gaming has become an alternative to outdoor activities.
"As the ripple effects of Covid-19 have generated a new directive to work from home, learn from home and game from home, we at Acer have seen a surge in demand for PCs from the consumer and commercial side,” Sudhir Goel, Chief Business Officer, Acer India said.
Laptops are being preferred over desktops due to mobility and connectivity. This has led to shortage in laptops and unprecedented demand for refurbished laptops.
"We expect the sales of refurbished laptops to match the volume of new laptops this year, which will be in the range of seven million units. We are planning to increase the volume of refurbished laptops to 25,000 units per month from the earlier 15,000," V Ranganathan, managing director, Cerebra Integrated Technologies told DH.
PCs have become essential and consumers are looking for individual devices instead of one shared device among family members. Enterprises and home users are looking for devices that enable mobility, security and connectivity.
"With relaxations in movement and business operations, we are seeing strong demand for PCs," Vickram Bedi, Senior Director, Personal System, HP Inc India said.