The domestic personal computer (PC) market registered another strong quarter in October-December 2020 with shipments growing 27% y-o-y to hit 2.9 million units as e-learning, gaming and work from home (WFH) drove demand. The rally helped laptops post its biggest fourth quarter shipments in the country so far.
According to IDC, this is the second consecutive quarter in India when the PC market set new records. During July-September 2020, shipments hit 3.4 million units with the period being the biggest quarter in the last seven years in India. Another positive for the traditional PC market, which includes desktops, notebooks and workstations, is that requirement for laptops from segments like e-learning and gaming will to continue to propel demand in 2021, however component supply constraints could play spoilsport.
Notebooks shipments grew 62.1% y-o-y to contribute more than three-fourths of the total PC shipments in Q4 2020. The growth driver continues to be in demand from e-learning and remote working, leading to a 74.1% and 14.1% annual growth in the consumer and enterprise segments, respectively, IDC said.
On the momentum in notebooks, IDC India market analyst (PC devices), Bharath Shenoy said, “The market saw demand across price bands and concluded the biggest fourth-quarter shipments for notebooks in India. However, the severe supply challenges for entry-level CPUs and panels restricted the growth, as supply remains much lower than the current demand in the country”.
The massive demand in consumer segment driven by online learning led the exceptional performance of notebooks. Likewise, gaming notebook PCs were one of the fastest-growing categories, further proof of the growing importance of gaming in the country, he added.
The year 2020 ended as the biggest year for notebooks with 7.9-million-unit shipments during the year, a y-o-y growth of 6%. Had the industry not been challenged by component shortages, notebook shipments could have been much higher during the year.
Contrary to this, desktop shipments saw a decline of 33.2% in 2020 as companies reduced spending on fixed computing devices and preferred mobile devices to manage their operations remotely. This led to a 6.4% y-o-y decline for the overall PC market in 2020 to 10.27 million units.
Going ahead, IDC India associate research manager (client devices), Jaipal Singh said, “2021 will give another opportunity to vendors to leverage the missed prospects due to supply constraints in 2020. So far, consumer demand does not seem to be abating anytime soon, and enterprises also continue to place fresh orders. Additionally, many government education deals are under discussion which can set a strong foundation for 2021”.
However, if the current supply challenges continue for some more months, it can offset the ongoing demand to some extent. Availability of the devices will not only be critical for the category growth but will play an important role in the expansion of the market in the country, he added.