India PC shipments are expected to reach 12.5 million units in 2012, a 17 percent increase from 2011, according to forecast by Gartner. The PC industry is benefiting from the Tamil Nadu state government deal, wherein the government aims to give away laptops to the students of state-aided colleges and high schools – to fulfill the pre-election pledge made by the chief minister. This will add approximately 920,000 units to total shipments in 2012 and will be a major contributor for an estimated double-digit growth. Without considering this particular deal PC market is expected to grow 8.4 percent in 2012.
“High inflation, increased cost of living and smartphone penetration are forcing consumers to extend the life of their computing devices,” said Vishal Tripathi, principal research analyst at Gartner. “Consumers are not very enthusiastic about investing in new and advanced features and form factors which comes at a premium price. “
The new form factor Ultrabook has its advantage in terms of looks, style, light weight and battery life. However, at the current price point it’s not going to be a persuasive device for consumers in the Indian market, which are primarily driven by price points more than technology innovations. It remains to be seen whether Windows 8 and Ultrabook will create the compelling offering that will get the early adopter of devices excited about PCs again. Media tablets might see higher adoption as compared to 2011, but they are not going to have any major impact on the PCs as they are still the second or third devices for consumers. Although some enterprise sectors, such as the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sectors, are opting for tablets for front end sales force atomization.
“Commercial spending in the large enterprises may remain stable for some time, but with uncertainty in the global economy it might soften in the months to come. Consumers were waiting for the annual budget with the hope of some cuts in PC prices, but with the increase in excise duty, the cost of PCs will go up. This will result in some slack in consumer demand in the months to come, “said Mr. Tripathi.