NEW DELHI: Xiaomi plans to enter the India PC market with the launch of its first Mi laptop some time in June, Raghu Reddy, chief business officer, Xiaomi India told Mint. The company had earlier indicated it would enter new categories in India.
“Our research showed that PC is a category that remains largely under penetrated and the frequency of upgrades has become bigger in last few years," said Reddy.
"The second thing we realised is that people in this category spend a lot of time figuring out what to buy. That happens because there is a profusion of SKUs (stock keeping units). Each brand has anywhere between 30 to 40 SKUs in the market in just the Core i5 series," he said.
The company doesn’t intend to have multiple SKUs in laptops and will meet requirements of a large group of customers with limited SKUs as it wants to make the decision making process easier for customers, Reddy said.
Though he didn’t specify the name of the Mi notebook that will be launched in India first, he said it will cater to power users who have workloads that require best possible hardware out there. The company’s existing Mi portfolio of laptops, available in China, includes an ultra thin Mi Laptop Air. In 2019, the company also launched an Mi gaming laptop with 144Hz display. Xiaomi also has a RedmiBook line-up of laptops.
PC market in India has seen an upswing in last few weeks due to pent up demand from lockdown period and new demand for laptops to meet remote working and learning requirements. In the weeks following the phased lifting of the lockdown, Taiwanese PC vendor Asus successfully recovered more than 90% of its national sales as compared to pre-covid 19 era.
“After the lockdown was relaxed in some geographies, the pickup pace of our products has been phenomenal, so much so that we expect sales to surpass average sales in the coming weeks," Arnold Su, Business Head, Consumer & Gaming PC, System Business Group, ASUS India said in a statement.
Asus hopes to grab 20% market share in India in consumer notebook segment by the end of Q3, up from 15% in Q1 2020. Rival PC vendors HP and Acer too have seen a significant spike in demand for laptops in May.
Xiaomi also plans to get after-sales services for PCs ready so customers are not left stranded in case of an issues or damage to the laptops. “We have a network of 1500 service centres for smartphones. When we launched TVs we realised our service centres for mobile will not do justice to TVs. So for TVs we build a network of 500 service centres catering to a larger perimeter in that region. Similarly, we want to ensure people have the right service experience for PCs," adds Reddy.
India shipped 11 million PCs with notebooks accounting for 67% of it in calendar year 2019, according to IDC. Demand from enterprises, government and educational institutions drive almost half of the laptops sales.