Laptop Price

Demand for laptops eases as pandemic eases

NEW DELHI : The pandemic-driven shift to remote work that has fueled massive demand for PCs and laptops over the past two years is beginning to fade.

Analysts and experts in the IT industry assume that sales will continue to weaken due to an inflation-related slump in consumer demand. This, in turn, will force brands to drop consumer laptop prices and offer either discounts or bundled deals on commercial offerings.

“PC updates are done in cycles. We are past the peak cycle that was during Covid-19. This type of growth cycle will not repeat itself. The double-digit decline will continue for the next 2-3 quarters,” said Tarun Pathak, research director at Counterpoint Research.

According to data from research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) in November, PC shipments in India fell 11.7% in the September quarter, the first decline after eight consecutive quarters of growth. Navkendar Singh, associate vice president, device research at IDC, said brands will be forced to cut prices to empty their inventory.

“Enterprises are also holding back some spending,” said Ranjit Atwal, senior director analyst at Gartner. Companies and businesses purchasing employee laptops for hybrid or remote work have been a key driver for the market over the past eight quarters.

Experts believe that growth from the business-to-business (B2B) segment will return later in the year. “You might see a lot of B2B bundling offers like back to school or work. The positioning of PCs will change and be more B2B oriented. The consumer segment will remain under pressure as we are past this Covid-induced demand curve,” Pathak said.

“The growth rates of 2020-21 are not sustainable. Although shipments will continue to fall, they will not return to pre-pandemic lows,” Singh said.

The brands aren’t giving up either. Sudhir Goel, Acer India’s Chief Business Officer, said that PC penetration in India is still below average compared to mobile phones. “As such, there’s still a lot of potential for PCs to grow with segments like gaming, government, BFSI, and first-time buyers,” he said.

Counterpoint’s Pathak said premium laptops, including Apple’s MacBooks, will be spared the slump in demand.

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