Laptop demand falls as pandemic eases

NEW Delhi : The pandemic-driven shift to remote working, which has driven massive demand for PCs and laptops over the past two years, is starting to fade.

Analysts and IT industry experts expect sales to continue to weaken as consumer demand falters due to inflationary pressures. In turn, this will force brands to lower the price of consumer laptops and offer discounts or bundled incentives for commercial deals.

“PC refreshes happen in cycles. We have passed the peak cycle during the covid-19 period. That kind of growth cycle won’t happen anymore. Tarun Pathak, research director at Counterpoint Research, said the double-digit decline will continue for the next 2-3 quarters.

PC shipments in India fell 11.7% in the September quarter, the first drop after eight consecutive quarters of growth, according to data released by research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) in September. 11. Navkendar Singh, vice president of device research at IDC, says brands will be forced to cut prices to free up their inventory.

“Businesses are also restricting some spending,” said Ranjit Atwal, senior director of analytics at Gartner. Businesses buying employee laptops for compositing or teleworking have been one of the key market drivers over the past eight quarters.

Certainly, experts believe that business-to-business (B2B) growth will return later this year. “You can see a lot of B2B packages like going back to school or work. The position of PC will change and will be more towards B2B. The consumer segment will remain under pressure once we’ve crossed the covid demand curve, says Pathak.

“The growth rate of 2020-21 is not sustainable. “While shipments will continue to decline, it will not return to pre-pandemic lows,” Singh said.

Brands haven’t given up either. Sudhir Goel, sales manager of Acer India, said PCs have not yet been penetrated in India compared to mobile phones. “Therefore, there is still a lot of potential for PC to grow with segments like gaming, government, BFSI and first-time buyers,” he said.

Counterpoint’s Pathak says high-end laptops, including Apple’s MacBooks, will remain protected from a drop in demand.

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