Business / Tech

PC sales grow in Japan as coronavirus drives up teleworking demand

Jiji

Sales of personal computers are increasing in the nation thanks to demand from workers shifting to teleworking, in order to prevent infection with the novel coronavirus.

In a bid to win business opportunities related to changes in work styles amid the epidemic, PC-makers have launched products suited for online conferences and equipped with enhanced security features.

According to research firm BCN Inc., sales of notebook PCs grew 46 percent in April year on year and 51 percent in May.

The spikes reflected robust demand from teleworkers and students attending online classes introduced at universities across the country amid the virus crisis.

Before the outbreak, PC sales had been projected to shrink, due to a pullback in demand after a last-minute surge before the end in January of Microsoft Corp.’s support service for its Windows 7 operating system.

“The PC market started regaining momentum rapidly in April,” said Ryosuke Kawashima, an executive officer at NEC Personal Computers Ltd.

“Potential PC demand related to teleworking and online classes is estimated at some 10 million units,” he said.

The company’s new products launched this month feature improved audio functions enabling videoconferences with clearer sounds. They also have an improved security system that issues a warning on the screen if the gaze of others is detected.

In late May, Fujitsu Ltd. released compact notebook PCs equipped with a webcam cover for corporate clients, to prevent the face of the user and anything within the camera’s field of vision from being captured even if the camera is operated by hackers.

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