Sony and HP slash Windows 8-based laptop price

Infotech Lead Asia: Sony and Hewlett-Packard have slashed the prices of Windows 8-based laptops by as much as Rs 2,000 in India.

The reduction in prices in laptops follows PC makers’ failed attempt to catch up with tablet and smartphone companies.

Both Sony and HP, according to a Times of India report, are reducing the price at a time when industry analysts are predicting gloomy PC market growth in 2013 globally.

HP is also trying to become the #1 player in the Indian PC market. The market is currently dominated by Lenovo.

Sony wants to sell more and establish itself as a premium product maker.

For PC makers, India has become a hot market due to ongoing slowdown in Europe.

Research firm IDC earlier said PC shipments will decline by 1.3 percent in 2013 globally. Disappointing holiday sales, poor response to Microsoft’s Windows 8 and ongoing economic issues in global PC markets will influence the growth in the PC market.

Since the global PC volume market already declined 3.7 percent in 2012, it’s important for PC manufacturers to sell in emerging markets like China and India in 2013.

Despite impressive sales in smartphones and tablets, India will have a positive story in 2013 in the PC markets as well. This is despite the fact that analysts predicting that emerging market growth potential is declining and looking similar to the slow growth in mature regions. 2012 was the first year that saw emerging markets register a decline in volume.

Venu Reddy, research director, IDC, recently said that there is a continued visible shift in end-user demand from Desktops to Portable computing devices.

Driven by demand from Portable PCs, IDC expects the India PC market to register a double digit growth in CY 2013 despite downward pressures driven by longer refresh cycles seen in the recent periods. This trend of longer refresh cycle could be due to lower levels of usage of laptops as some of the activities are accomplished using tablets as seen in IDCs recent end-user research.

The India PC shipments for CY 2012 stood at 11.0 million units resulting into an year-on-year growth of 3.5 percent over CY 2011. Despite a drag on overall IT spending, the growth in the India PC market was driven by special projects like ELCOT and spurt in consumer demand for Notebooks.

The consumer PC market recorded an impressive growth driven by growing shift in end-user demand towards Portable PCs, which grew at 20.2 percent in 2012.

Though 2013 is expected to return to growth, it is projected at less than 1 percent continuing with modest, single-digit growth through 2017. Volume declines will continue in mature markets in 2013 for the third consecutive year of dismal performance. IDC continues to expect slow growth in 2014 and 2015 and contracting volume in the following years.

Baburajan K
[email protected]

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