Gov laptop scheme helps make Lenovo no 1, but Indian PCs sales slow: Gartner

Chinese PC brand Lenovo was able to snatch the number 1 position from Dell and HP in India in the first quarter, but the overall Indian PC market showed signs of a definite slow-down.

PC sales to consumers in India was down 3 percent in the January-March quarter compared to the October-December quarter.

Overall PC sales was up, but primarily because of the huge orders placed by the Tamil Nadu government under Jayalalitha.

The orders were so big that they propelled Lenovo to the number one spot — increasing Lenovo’s shipments in India by 64% when compared to the same quarter a year ago.

The boost also resulted in a 6.6% increase in overall PC sales in the March quarter when compared to the year-ago quarter.

However, overall, the mood was somber due to the not-so-great news from the consumer market.

“High inflation and increased prices have forced users to either prolong the life of their devices or postpone their purchase decision. The increase in excise and import duties also played a part in decision making postponement,” pointed out Vishal Tripathi, principal research analyst at Gartner.

Dell saw a 11% decline in shipment numbers compared to a year ago, HCL faced a 13% dip in numbers while unbranded (assembled) desktops saw a decline of 20%. Notebook sales rose 27%.

HP had a good quarter, with a 21% jump in volumes, but it was still short of Dell’s numbers — making HP the number 3 PC brand in India, after Lenovo and Dell (see chart above.)

Total PC market in India, excluding tablets, was 2.8 million units.

Gartner has forecast that 12.5 million PCs will be sold in India this year, up 17% from last year.

“Consumer buying accounted for 47 percent of total PC sales in the first quarter of 2012, which is down 3 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011,” said Vishal Tripathi, principal research analyst at Gartner “This underlies the fact that The delay in rate contract from DGSND (Directorate General of Supplies & Disposals) did not help market growth.”