Record PC sales in Q3 2003-04

By Our Infotech Bureau | 27 Mar 2004


The third quarter computer industry performance review for October-December 2003, conducted by MAIT, reveals that PC sales will comfortably cross three million during this fiscal, surpassing its' earlier half-yearly projections (See: PC sales to touch 3 million in 2003 -04)

MAIT, the apex body representing the hardware, training and R&D services sectors of the Indian IT industry has announced the findings of its industry performance review for the third quarter (October to December, FY2003-04). The quarterly review, alternates with a half-yearly industry performance review called ITOPs, conducted by the Indian Market Research Bureau (IMRB). These studies address the hardware sector's efforts to manage the business environment, gauge market potential and consumer trends.

The quarterly studies use the supply side estimation model involving data collection from top IT vendors and leading channel partners. The study for October-December involved data collation from five major vendors and 350 resellers / vendors across 15 metros, mini metros and cities in India. The quarterly review covers the market size estimation for desktop PCs, notebooks, servers and peripherals (printers and UPS).

The desktop PC market grossed over 8 lakh units, an 87 per cent year-on-growth over the same quarter in the last fiscal. This is a sequential growth of 31 per cent over the previous quarter (July - September, 2003).

With increased sales throughout the year and also, traditionally, the last quarter accounting for maximum sales, the industry is expected to comfortably cross the three million PC sales mark.

The buoyancy in PC sales can be attributed to increased consumption by traditional industry verticals such as telecom, banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) segment, IT-enabled services and manufacturing as well as non-traditional sectors like education, retail outlets and self-employed professionals. However, government consumption was subdued, which is expected to gain momentum in the next quarter (January to March, 2004).

The significant consumption in the small and medium enterprises and in the home market, which is a highly price sensitive segment, can easily be attributed to the drop in prices, especially at the entry-level. Hence the trend of increased PC purchase in smaller towns and cities, witnessed last year, continues undiminished.

Increasing PC market in India; fiscal 2003-04

The findings of the quarterly study for Q3 2003-04 lend themselves to identifying significant trends in buying and usage patterns:

Assembled PCs, the smaller and lesser-known regional brands and unbranded systems, accounted for 55 per cent of the PC sales in Q3 2003-04. Indian brands accounted for 15 per cent of the market while the MNC brands accounted for the rest 30 per cent.

The break-up of the market size indicates that the four metros still account for the bulk of PC consumption. But the trend of smaller towns registering higher growth appears to continue during the third quarter as well.

Replacement demand for PCs has also contributed to enhanced growth in this market. New technologies and features as well as aggressive pricing are driving the replacement market.

Notebook market in Q3 witnessed a 105 per cent growth over the previous quarter scaling 29,000 units. This was led by a drop in notebook prices. Corporates have always been the major target segment for notebooks. However, with the reduction in prices of notebooks, which have often been close to the prices of desktop PCs, notebooks are also finding a place in households.

Traditional markets like banking, finance, government, education, manufacturing and the corporate sector continued to fuel the server market, which crossed 16,600 units registering a growth of 85 per cent over the previous quarter. Increased networking in smaller businesses has also added to increased server consumption.

For most peripherals, Q3 witnessed significant quarter-on-quarter growth. Laser printers witnessed a growth of 83 per cent, followed by inkjets at 57 per cent and UPS at 56 per cent. The revival of the dot-matrix market continued well into Q3, the Dot-matrix printers registered a quarter-on-quarter growth of 7 per cent.

While increased buying in the traditional markets like the government and BFSI helped, emergence of newer markets like retail and education have added to the growth of the dot-matrix printer market.

Peripherals market for 2003-04

Commenting on the findings of the study, Vinnie Mehta, executive director, MAIT said, "With the reduction of excise duty on IT products in the first week of January this year, the dynamics of the IT business in India is all set to change. The reduction in excise duty on computers to 8 per cent from 16 per cent, which was subsequently abolished for microprocessors, hard-disk drives, floppy-disk drives and CD-Rom drives, has helped the industry reduce prices of computers, the impact of which will be perceptible in the fourth quarter and even more pronounced in the next fiscal."

"We are confident that in the fiscal 2003-04 we will comfortably cross 3 million units, a growth of 30 per cent over fiscal 2002-03. The growth projection for the ensuing fiscal 2004-05 is healthy, and this may become still better by another five to ten percent should the government increase depreciation to 100 per cent on all IT products," he added.

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