New Delhi, Sept. 24: The hardware end of the IT segment — which has often hobbled after its energetic software cousin — is looking to break out of the shadows with a projected growth of 18 per cent this year (2003-04) and sales of 27 lakh personal computers.
MAIT, the apex body that represents the hardware, training and R&D services sectors within the IT industry, has reported a robust growth in the first quarter of this fiscal (April-June) with desk-top PC sales grossing 6.4 lakh units in the first quarter — a growth of 26 per cent over the same quarter of 2002-03.
In its quarterly industry performance review, MAIT has attributed the strong growth in PC sales to “increased IT consumption by industry verticals and corporate sectors such as telecom, banking and financial services, manufacturing and IT-enabled services”.
The apex body has projected that desktop sales in the first half of this year will cross 14.2 lakh units, revising upwards its earlier projection of 12.1 lakh units on the back of what it terms “the buoyant business sentiment in the market”.
In the second quarter, MAIT has forecast desktop PC sales of 784,188 units.
What is remarkable is that the increased consumption of IT products that was seen in 2002-03 has continued well into the first quarter of this year. Smaller towns accounted for 37 per cent of the total PC sales while the top four cities accounted for 46 per cent and the next four for 17 per cent.
The smaller towns also accounted for 17 per cent of overall notebook sales, 52 per cent of dot matrix printers, 31 per cent of ink-jet printers, 19 per cent of laser printers and 30 per cent of UPS systems.
The study, which was conducted by leading market research firm IMRB, involved data collation from major vendors and around 30 resellers / vendors in each of the 13 metros in the country.
The study reveals that assembled PCs accounted for 65 per cent of the PC sales in the first quarter of this fiscal. In the third quarter of 2002-03, there had also been a sharp rise in the sales of assembled PCs but some of that had been nullified in the fourth quarter (January-March 2003) with strong corporate buying.
At the close of 2002-03, assembled PCs accounted for 46 per cent of the overall sales for the year. But it appears that assembled PCs have once again grabbed significant market share in the first quarter of this year.
MNC brands accounted for 19 per cent of the PC sales and Indian brands the remaining 16 per cent.
In the business segment of the PC market, sales were driven by banks, financial institutions, insurance companies, educational institutes, government purchases, IT sector and IT-related companies.
PC sales in the household segment were fuelled by reduced prices coupled with applications for ‘entertainment’ and ‘education’. The study noted that self-employed professionals such as architects and freelance graphic designers “appeared to be more receptive to investing in PCs than before”.
The study noted that pricing was a major reason that the notebook sales in the household segment were restricted though there were some indications that they were making inroads here too. Notebook sales were driven by demand in the corporate offices, IT companies, financial institutions and the government.