Expert Speak

Will Netbooks Find a Good Market in India?


I still remember, when little over five months back, Rajesh Gupta, director (Sales & Marketing), Intel South Asia, informed us about Intel’s plan to fill up the vacuum at sub US$ 500 price region for PCs from the mobility perspective. Although at that point of time, it was not at all unusual to realize the growing need for a particular kind of devices – that could be little less than a laptop but much more efficient than a high-end (then available) mobile phone, undoubtedly it was beyond imagination that so soon we could see such a family of computers around us in India.

As per Intel’s description, Netbooks are compact mobile devices that children, first-time Internet users and people who desire an extra PC can use for basic computing applications, listening to music, e-mailing and surfing the Internet. They can also be used for playing basic online games, social networking and making voice over IP phone calls. Asus’ account adds Netbooks also feature long-lasting batteries.

Many vendors have already launched their Intel Atom-based Netbooks in the Indian market; some are just about to come out. Although it is too early to talk about the actual potential of Netbooks in the Indian market, we can just have a look at the IDC’s prediction. According to IDC, worldwide shipments of netbooks are rising from just 430,000 units in 2007 towards 9.2 million in 2012.

In the International markets, these products are getting sold in the range of US$ 199 to US$ 599. However, considering the possibility of fast forward march of broadband Internet and WiMAX connectivity, and consumers’ affordability from the Indian perspective, I expect a bright potential for these devices in the region of Rs. 20,000.

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