IT market trend, a sign of the times

Jean Claude Elias
Jean-Claude Elias is a computer engineer and a classically trained pianist and guitarist. He has been regularly writing IT articles, reviewing music albums, and covering concerts for more than 30 years.(Photo: Jordan News)
The strong demand in Jordan for laptop computers may have been significantly boosted by the global health situation and its direct consequence, the need to work remotely, but it is not the only reason.اضافة اعلان

For the past 18 months, all vendors, retailers, and suppliers of laptops have acknowledged an unusual surge in consumer demand for these devices. The peak may have occurred between April and December 2020, but the trend is still felt today, even if to a lesser degree, given that last year’s dramatic lockdown that had each one rushing to buy a laptop to be able to work from home, is now behind us.

Behind us? Not everyone agrees to this assertion. Many are those who fear a new lockdown – perhaps a less drastic one, but a lockdown of some kind nonetheless. It is still possible that this will happen again, they believe. And therefore, to be ready to cope with any eventuality, securing the necessary IT hardware is the way to go.

If the health situation has so far been the main, the clear, factor for the market trend, the other one is the tendency to use the cloud for data storage, for full computing, and for increased mobility. The last had started well before the Covid crisis and has little to do with it.

Prices, too, are affecting the market and orienting it, pushing people to buy more and more laptops. Considering that a good computer is not more expensive than a high-end smartphone, buying a laptop is money well spent.

Indeed, the large screen and the global functionality of a laptop remain far superior to what a smartphone can bring. In Jordan, JD500 is the average price for a reasonably good laptop, whereas top of the line smartphones cost more than JD700.
Although shipping costs have significantly increased in the last 10 months because of the global situation, affecting the prices of all imported goods, laptop prices remain overall acceptable. Regardless of any pricing consideration, the machines have become a necessity. The format has become the ideal solution not only for private users, but for businesses as well. By equipping their staff with portable laptops, instead of the bulky desktop computer models, they can easily ask them to work from the office if all is well or take the devices home and work from there should a lockdown be suddenly declared. Same settings, same software, same files -- the ultimate versatility, in other words.

On the negative side is the shortage of goods. Sales are such that you do not always find the model you want in stock at your supplier. If vendors are happy about the situation, consumers are, understandably, not. The first are trying to increase their ordering and importing capacity. Also, whenever the laptop you are dreaming of is not in stock, they try to convince you to buy another brand, another model, unless you are willing to wait till new shipments arrive in the country.

In Jordan, Lenovo and Dell are the best sellers and the leading brands, with Apple and its MacBooks remaining in a class of their own, though the world market share of the company is “but” a humble 6 percent. Lenovo, on the other hand, has secured an impressive 25 percent share of the world market, according to Virtually all the other brands can be found in the country, at least in Amman: Acer, Asus, HP, Huawei, MSI, Razer, Samsung, and Toshiba.

Perhaps the keywords for practical, yet powerful, professional computing are mobility and a screen of a reasonable size. This, of course, is the very definition of a laptop. Smartphones will just not do, and desktops (or PCs) are too bulky and anyway are not mobile.

Constantly faster and improved Wi-Fi connectivity is also contributing to increased sales of laptops. The best models can now achieve speeds approaching 600 megabits per second, which is excellent for any kind of professional work, including, of course, cloud computing, and uploading or downloading very large files quickly.

Jean-Claude Elias is a computer engineer and a classically trained pianist and guitarist. He has been regularly writing IT articles, reviewing music albums, and covering concerts for more than 30 years.

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