Sales of personal computers (laptops and desktops) between October and December 2008 were only 1.4 million units, a 19 per cent decline compared with the same period last year.
The reason: Less-than-expected sales to households and enterprises and the rupee losing value against the US dollar, says the latest report of the Manufacturers Association of Information Technology.
The industry hopes that sales will better in the January-March quarter. However, given the current macro-economic conditions and the buying sentiment, overall PC sales for 2008-09 are expected to be 7.3 million units, the same as in the year before.
Sales of desktops stood at 1 million units (15 per cent decline, year-on-year), while notebook sales touched 350,000 units (30 per cent drop, YoY). Last year, the annual growth for notebook sales was 114 per cent.
Analysts say the personal consumption of notebooks has come down and enterprises have also stopped new purchases due to the slowdown in hiring. Educational institutes should be buying new machines, but that will happen when the new academic session begins, according to an analyst.
Small- and medium-sized enterprises, retail, BPO/IT-enabled services and the corporate sector all bought less due to concerns over liquidity and general economic performance, says Vinnie Mehta, MAIT's executive director. Households bought less due to concerns over job security, he said. And the strengthening dollar continues to adversely impact margins, besides arresting the drop in the prices of IT products.
The study noted that assembled desktops -- the smaller, lesser-known, regional brands and unbranded systems -- accounted for 39 per cent desktop sales in the quarter under review. Purchase of servers witnessed a decline of 49 per cent.Subdued consumption in enterprises also led to a decline in the uptake of laser printers by 14 per cent. Poor consumption in establishments and households resulted in a decline in the UPS market by 36 per cent on an annual basis in the third quarter of 2008-09.