New Delhi: Record demand from business buyers will see sales of notebook computers in India top one million in the year ending March 2007, more than double the number sold in fiscal 2006, industry experts and analysts said.
The PC industry will end fiscal 2007 with an estimated 6.5 million computers—both desktop and notebook—sold, up from 4.6 million in the previous year, trade body Manufacturers’ Association for Information Technology (MAIT) executive vice-president Vinnie Mehta told reporters.
Total PC sales in the April-September 2006 period stood at 2.96 million, up 19% from the same months the previous year. This growth was primarily driven by a record 180% expansion of notebook PC sales. Desktop computers’ sales rose just 8%, Mehta said.
The demand for PCs is being driven by sectors like telecommunication, banking and financial services, retail, call centres, besides e-governance initiatives undertaken by the Central and state governments, MAIT said in a mid-year review of computer sales.
An analyst at technology research firm Gartner said demand for notebook PCs was primarily driven by dropping prices and connectivity to travelling professionals at junior as well as senior levels in companies. “Five years ago, laptops were provided only to the senior managers. Today that is changing and laptops are used across all levels,” Gartner’s principal analyst Diptarup Chakroborti said. First-time buyers were opting for notebook computers instead of desktop versions, he added.
Despite record sales, Indian PC sales form a tiny sliver of demand in the rest of the Asia-Pacific region. About 11.8 million desktop PCs were sold just in the fourth quarter ended December 2006, according to Gartner estimates. Another 3.5 million notebook computers were sold in the period accounting for nearly 23% of total computer sales.
Gartner said the PC market, both desktop and laptop computers, in India will grow to 9.8 million in the year up to December 2007, with growth driven again by notebooks. “The total PC market in 2007 will grow by 25.4%, with the desktop market growth projected at 13% and the notebook market at 63%,” Chakraborti said.