This Report covers the impact of COVID-19 on the technology category including technology hardware and digital services. Consumer attitudes and behaviors toward technology as well as market performance and opportunities in the short, medium and longer term are discussed.


For the purposes of this Report, two segments of technology are explored:

Technology hardware – consumer electronics including:

  • Personal computers (laptops, desktops and tablets)

  • Home entertainment (TVs, Blu-ray/DVD players, smart speakers, streaming media players, gaming consoles)

  • Smartphones

  • Wearables (wireless earbuds, smart watches, fitness trackers)

Digital services – technology to connect and for entertainment, including:

  • Internet service

  • Telecommunication services

  • Streaming video services

  • Video conferencing/chat and communication apps

  • eCommerce

  • Social media

Economic assumptions

Our economic assumptions are based on global forecasts released by the IMF on April 14, 2020. The IMF expects US GDP to fall by 5.9% in 2020 and recover to 4.7% growth in 2021. Our unemployment estimate comes from CBO projections released May 19, 2020, which indicate a sharp rise to 15.1% in Q2 2020, remaining high through Q3 before recovering slightly to 11.5% by the end of the year, with a 9.3% rate for 2021. The current uncertainty means there is wide variation in the forecasts.

COVID-19: US context

This Report was written in May 2020.

The first COVID-19 case was confirmed in the US in January 2020. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global health pandemic, and on March 13, President Trump declared a national emergency in the US. 

Across the US, state-level stay-at-home orders rolled out throughout the months of March and April, and non-essential businesses and school districts across the nation closed or shifted to remote operations. At the time of writing, all 50 states have relaxed or are beginning to relax restrictions, allowing businesses to operate with varying levels of social distancing measures in place.  

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