As opposed to airlines, hotel chains, restaurants and millions of small businesses that are fighting for survival amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the world’s most prominent tech companies have been remarkably unaffected by the crisis (so far). Defying the terrible state of the overall economy, all but one of the GAFAM group of companies (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft) posted double-digit revenue growth for the three months ended in June, raking in a combined $33.9 billion in profit in the second quarter alone.
As the following chart shows, Amazon grew its revenue by more than 30 percent year-over-year in the first six months of 2020, with a record quarterly profit in Q2 as the icing on the cake. While Amazon's success during the pandemic seems logical, considering that many people switched to online shopping during lockdown, the relative immunity against the crisis shown by Apple, Google and Facebook is more of a surprise. After all, the latter two rely heavily on advertising spending, which dipped noticeably in the past months, while Apple sells high-priced consumer goods, a business that doesn't seem tailormade for periods of mass unemployment and economic uncertainty.