E-learning and remote working needs have helped the Indian PC market log its biggest quarter in seven years with shipment rising 9.2 per cent year-on-year to 3.4 million units in July-September, as per research firm IDC.
The shipment - which includes desktops, notebooks and workstations - stood at 3.1 million units in the third quarter of 2019.
"(About) 3.4 million units (were) shipped during the quarter, as the demand for e-learning and remote working remained strong, resulting in Q3 2020 being the biggest quarter in the last seven years in India," IDC said on Tuesday.
Although the commercial segment had very few government and education projects, the consumer segment recorded its biggest quarter ever with 2 million shipments, growing 41.7 per cent year-on-year and 167.2 per cent from the previous quarter, it added.
The demand for notebooks remains much higher than the current supply, which is likely to lead to another strong quarter of shipments in October-December, it said.
HP Inc retained the top position in the overall PC market with a share of 28.2 per cent in September 2020 quarter, followed by Lenovo (21.7 per cent), Dell Technologies (21.3 per cent), Acer Group (9.5 per cent) and Asus (7.5 per cent).
IDC said schools and colleges continued to function virtually, leading to a surge in demand for consumer notebooks, especially in large cities. Despite the supply challenges, vendors were able to stock up for the upcoming online festivals.
New entrants like Xiaomi and Avita were able to leverage this opportunity but remained outside of the top five companies in the consumer segment.
Apple shipments also grew 19.4 per cent year-on-year as it ended its biggest quarter of shipments in the country, IDC noted.
"There is still a lot of uncertainty if and when will the schools and colleges return to physical classrooms at full strength. This is forcing students to manage all their learning virtually. This demand is expected to stay strong as India remains under penetrated in PCs," Bharath Shenoy, market analyst for PC Devices at IDC India, said.
He added that the growing broadband connectivity in the country is making online learning easier for students, and therefore this opportunity will continue to be relevant for PC vendors for at least a few more quarters.
In the commercial segment, enterprises continued investing in PCs under their business continuity planning to manage their remote working requirements.
However, the volume of key big deals has come down in this second wave of enterprise buying as compared to initial orders in the June 2020 quarter.
This led to a marginal 3.1 per cent year-on-year growth in the overall enterprise segment, IDC said.
Notebook shipments grew at a strong 70.1 per cent year-on-year as enterprises preferred them over desktops.
Small and medium businesses (SMBs) resumed their purchases after taking a slight pause as business operations started for most of the sectors with a relaxation in the lockdown restrictions, IDC said.
Shipments to this segment grew 5.5 per cent year-on-year in September quarter 2020, it added.
However, this growth can also be attributed to channel procurement for better control over inventories amid the uncertain supply situation in the ecosystem, it added.
"Anticipating a longer work from home possibility, enterprises are getting ready for a larger mobile workforce and keep reducing their dependency on desktops. Also, SMBs started showing more momentum and will be critical in sustaining the ongoing growth in the commercial segment. Unfortunately, shortages of some key components continue to be a challenge," IDC India Associate Research Manager Client Devices Jaipal Singh said.
Vendors that will be able to manage the supplies of these components will benefit from this opportunity more as there is still a lot of untapped demand for PCs in the country, he added.
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