Govt. Projects Improve PC Sales In India: Study

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New Delhi, Nov 26: Despite global PC sales getting hit due to the increasing customer preference for tablets and smartphones, recent research has suggested that the third quarter of 2013 has witnessed a turnaround for personal computers, thanks largely to a large government orders from the education segment.

According to research firm Gartner, the combined desk-based and mobile PC market in India reached nearly 3.2 million units in the third quarter of 2013. This is a 7.9% rise over the same period in 2012, says Gartner.

IDC had put the overall India PC shipments at 3.24 million units in the third quarter of 2013, which includes a year-on-year growth of 8.4% over the same time last year. IDC states that the uptake on commercial volumes due to large education projects, has contributed to growth of this segment which has risen by around 59% against its share of nearly 50% in 2012.

“Special education projects in states like Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and a much delayed spending in the year from the BFSI segment have largely skewed the overall growth in Q3 towards commercial segment,” said Kiran Kumar, Research Manager at IDC.

Overall the economic atmosphere remained somber, stated Gartner. “Consumers accounted for 40% of total PC sales in the third quarter of 2013 compared to 47% in the third quarter of 2012,” said Vishal Tripathi, principal research analyst at Gartner.

He believes that despite the festive season and availability of various end-user schemes on PCs, the market was impacted by high inflation, global economic uncertainty and limited share of wallet as consumers preferred to spend on other consumer durables.

According to the researchers, HP emerged the clear winner in the PC market by doubling its market share in India. The company accounted for 32.5% of the total PC shipments this quarter. Lenovo secured second place with a share of 13.6% this quarter. Dell took third spot with market share of 11.8%. “Dell has been very successful with the integration of touch in their mix. Also they have been able to thrive in volume price bands in the recent past”, observes IDC researchers.

“Vendors continued to receive a boost in shipments as part of a large education project in UP. Also, their ability to maintain better pricing against competition tied with aggressive marketing campaigns on both desktops and portable PCs, helped them scale up their dominance in the India PC market”, adds Kumar.

According to IDC however, there can be a dip again in the fourth quarter of 2013 as far as PC shipments are concerned. The researchers anticipate seasonality and price hike to disrupt PC buying in the quarter ending December. Various political and economic issues are expected to impact the overall buying in some of these larger states. “Vendors would have to remain careful about their inventory in the subsequent quarters as they prepare to transition to some of these new form factors,” says Kumar.

Gartner expects a slowdown in PC sales after state-level government initiatives helped to drive strong growth in 2013, while there are also signs of weakening growth in other sectors.

The researchers expect that even excitement around product transitions to ‘Haswell’ family of processors and the launch of Windows 8.1 may not drive demand in the near future.

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