India notebook sales up 180%

But notebooks still account for only 15% of total PC sales, according to a survey

PCs sales for India grew 19% over the same period in the previous year, mainly on strong buying from a number of market segments including e-governance projects and the outsourcing industry, says a hardware vendor group.

A total of 2.96 million PCs were sold in the six months ended September 30 last year, says the Manufacturers Association of Information Technology (MAIT), an association in Delhi of computer hardware vendors. PC sales are forecast to be close to 6.5 million for the Indian fiscal year ending March 31, primarily because of the strong Indian economy, says the group.

Notebook sales grew by 180% in the six months to September 30, while the growth in desktop sales was about 8%, according to MAIT data. Intel has forecast that the Indian market is moving towards buying more notebooks than desktop computers because of the mobility they offer. A number of multinational and local brands have slashed prices on their entry-level notebooks to cash in on this new market opportunity.

Desktop sales still outstrip notebook sales in India, with sales of notebooks accounting for about 15% of all PC sales, says MAIT.

Sales of unbranded desktops grew at 27% to capture a 40% share of the desktop market, despite aggressive price cuts by multinational and local brands. Intel, through its Genuine Intel Dealer (GID) program, has given some legitimacy to this otherwise unorganised sector, consisting to a significant extent of out-of-garage assembly operations. Vendors of unbranded PCs, besides having a strong presence in small towns, also offer lower prices and personalised support. Intel has been assisting some of these vendors to also get into the assembly of notebooks.

Multinational PC brands accounted for 37% of the desktop market, registering growth of 14%. The share of Indian brands fell from 31% to 23%, after a decline in sales of 20%.

Business buyers accounted for 77% of desktop sales during the period, with home users accounting for the remaining 23%. Buyers of notebook computers for home use also increased because of their reduced prices, and accounted for one-third of notebook sales, says MAIT.

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