Growth momentum in PC industry expected to continue: HP India
Between 2013 and 2019, the global personal computer (PC) market – which includes laptops, desktops, and workstations – experienced a downturn. Even in India, which has low penetration, growth has fallen short. There has been talk of cell phones being the first computing device for most people as they overtake PCs.
However, once the pandemic struck, forcing work, education and entertainment to go online, the PC market in India began to show dramatic growth. According to IDC, in the third quarter of the current calendar year, a total of 4.5 million PCs were shipped to India, more than the annual consumer shipments in 2019. This despite supply and logistics constraints due to the global shortage of chips. HP maintained its overall lead in the PC market, with a 28.5% market share, according to IDC. Vickram Bedi, senior director of personal systems at HP India, who has led the charge of the company, said Activity area why the PC market is doing well and what lies ahead for the business and industry. Extracts:
The PC market has been generally very good. Once people return to “normal” jobs and study, can this growth momentum be sustained?
This has obviously been spectacular in recent years for the PC industry. Many customers in India were using cell phones, and as they moved up the curve they realized the value proposition and usefulness of a PC.
People had to work from home, learn from home, and even make money from home. Everyone now knows how much value a PC adds to our daily lives, given that it is a device that essentially powers your outdoor life from your home.
Not just for the family, but individually. Thus, not only has the PC clearly established itself as a must have, but it has also become an individual device, especially now in the current consumer phenomena, whether for your online meetings or your education or even your entertainment. Everything is personalized with your own YouTube and Netflix and Zoom meeting and calendar feed. It is no longer a device that can be shared for a few hours between different users.
HP’s vision has always been to empower and empower our users’ experiences. We see the future of work, the future of learning, the future of income – while remaining hybrid. We see huge growth ahead of us as PC penetration in India remains low especially as you move away from big cities.
PC penetration is far from the scale (of) mobile phones. Thus, we anticipate massive growth ahead of us, among corporate clients, small businesses and consumers. Within these newer segments such as content creators, gamers, super users, all are looking to buy their first PC for themselves or for the family or to upgrade a device.
We are seeing very strong growth in units as well as in terms of average unit price over the past two years. It’s like every quarter we have the biggest quarter in quite some time.
Was there a perception that mobiles would replace PCs and that PCs are dead?
PCs are complementary to cell phones; we have always maintained that they are not devices. As you look at the Indian customer journey. The PC proposal was about productivity, learning, aspiration, becoming a better you and that has lasted over the years. It is a versatile device that allows you to do a lot of great things at the same time. It lets you personalize experiences in a much more powerful way than a smaller screen device could, without the limitations of being on calls. The value proposition is fundamentally different. One is more about in-depth work, meaningful work. The other is more about consumption.
Which segments of the market are doing better – are they SMEs, businesses or consumers?
I think there are around 65-70 million SMBs that don’t have a PC of any shape or size in the country. Even though large companies are coming back as well, their ratio of devices to people isn’t necessarily 100%. There is room even in large companies and business continuity plans will be needed in the future. We are still in the midst of this phenomenon, with new variations and new ambiguities still emerging.
I think the learning was that you have to be prepared, especially the older you are. All of these trends and data points suggest that demand is going to be robust. In addition, we already have a new upgrade customer base. So you have these two dynamics of new customers and those looking to upgrade as they go. I think the sub-segments such as games, of course, have seen the strongest growth, albeit on a smaller basis.
This is the case with content creators. On the commercial front, we have seen very strong growth in our products for workstations.
Have supply chain constraints, especially semiconductors, impacted the industry?
As demand took off exponentially, it took some time for supply to catch up. The industry reacted very strongly. I think from the whole ecosystem, the competent manufacturers, the OEMs, everyone has done a good job, so it’s starting to balance out. However, like I said, demand is still strong and should be strong, but (supply) is now more balanced than it was when the demand surge began.