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Logitech to go beyond mice and webcams

Logitech, estimated to have nearly half of India’s PC peripherals market, said it will increasingly focus on ‘living room’ products such as ‘TV peripherals’ as its core market of assembled PCs shrinks.

The firm, which refuses to share its India-specific numbers, said it has achieved sales of around 4 million pieces of ‘pointing devices’ or mice a year. According to analysts like IDC and Gartner, Indians buy around 10 million PCs a year, out of which around 60-65% are desktops.

However, both the share of desktops in the overall PC market and the share of assembled PCs in the desktop markets have fallen over the last three years, hitting peripherals-makers hard.

Switzerland-based Logitech, which produced its first mouse in 1982, agreed the move towards laptops and branded PCs has shrunk its addressible market, but the overall the boom in the market has helped preserve volumes. PC market has zooomed from around 6 million per year three years ago to the present 10 million per year.

“Three-four years ago, assembler market was hovering around 50-55% of the overall desktop market. With another 15-20% from the replacement market, it used to be 70% of the desktop market,” agreed Subrotah Biswas, head of Logitech for India and ‘South West Asia.”

Today, he pointed out, assembled PCs have falled to around 35% of the total desktop market even as the total desktop market has fallen from around 75% to 60% of the total PC market.

“We expect the number of laptops sold in India to achieve parity with the number of desktops by either the December (2011) quarter or the March (2012) quarter,” he added.

The Indian PC peripherals market is notorious for not having any third-party research or numbers, but Biswas — whose firm dominates the industry — said the 4 million mice and almost an equal number keyboards comprise nearly half of the market in India.

The remaining is comprised of audio products, webcams, headsets and gaming peripherals. Biswas said Logitech is focusing more and more on bringing out products adjacent to non-PC devices like the TV and the cell-phone.

“We expect a proliferation of Internet-enabled devices such as TVs, media players and set top boxes. From 40 million per year in 2008, their number would reach 135 million in 2013,” he said, adding that new products such as universal remotes and audio docks would be launched to tap the opportunity.

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