Covid-19 has been with us for more than three months. Three months is an entire quarter in business.
It is quite a long time. With lock-downs prevailing in many major cities of the world, how are tech companies surviving the onslaught on their very survival? It is a mixed bag.
Companies like Amazon are subdued with business. Being online shops, Amazon and eBay find themselves in an environment that is very favorable for their kind of enterprise.
Software companies like Microsoft, Google and Facebook have also registered positive results in the face of coronavirus pandemic. Code writers form the core of workforce for software companies.
Programmers usually work on a flex hour work system. One is given a task to complete and it does not matter how and where one wants to complete the job; what matters is that the job must be done at the end of the agreed time.
Although the main Google campus is almost shutdown, programmers have been working from their homes and reaching deadlines comfortably. Meetings are heard online and decisions are made through emails. It is business as usual via technology.
BBC recently reported that Google registered a very healthy profit for the last quarter. In ordinary language Covid-19 pandemic has not threatened Google’s existence.
How about companies like Apple and Samsung that are both hardware and software entities? On the software front, these companies have the same leverage as Google and Microsoft. On the Hardware front; this may not be exactly the same milieu.
Hardware goes through design, prototype and mass-manufacturing stages. The design stage is software based. This stage is less likely to be affected by Covid-19 social distancing restrictions.
Workers can do this in the comfort of their homes. A prototype is actually a product, sometimes fully functional. There is need for production process.
Any production, no matter how small, requires machines that may not fit into ordinary homes. Because of this, it may not be feasible for one to avoid the office for this process.
Mass production involves factories with big machinery and sophisticated robots. There have been a lot of factory automation that have taken place in the recent past but human beings are still an important component in mass production factories.
Take the iPhone, for example, it is designed in USA but mass produced in Shenzhen China, the very source of coronavirus. Technically, the iPhone is imported from China.
The iPhone, manufacturing is entangled in the ‘vicious cycle’ of Covid-19. This means that Apple will be affected.
The next iPhone is expected to launch in November, 2020. Given the prevailing environment, it is unlikely this is going to happen. But for software companies, all seems well for now.