Tablets Won't Replace PCs Anytime Soon

by CXOtoday News Desk    Dec 11, 2013


Despite the buzz around tablet PCs, experts believe that desktop and laptop PCs will continue to be the primary computing devices for many in the Indian market. Despite the popular belief that tablets will gobble up the PC market, a recent report from market research firm CyberMedia Research reveals that tablets won’t replace PCs anytime soon in India, with over three-fourths of respondents opining that there is still some way to go before the tablet becomes the key computing device.

The study conducted in the form of a survey spread across 20 Indian cities that nearly 78% of users believe claimed mobility as a major reason to purchase a tablet with accessing social networking sites and entertainment, on the go, being their preferred activities. However, when it comes to professional activities, Indian users – business users and students – prefer the traditional desktops and laptops.

PC still primary computing device

A key segment that will save the PC market from extinction in the next few years is the Government. According to research firm Gartner, the combined desk-based and mobile PC market in India reached nearly 3.2 million units in the third quarter of 2013. This is a 7.9% rise over the same period in 2012, says Gartner. IDC has also predicted the overall India PC shipments stood at 3.24 million units in the third quarter of 2013, which includes a year-on-year growth of 8.4% over the same time last year. IDC states that the uptake on commercial volumes due to large education projects, has led to the contribution of this segment which has shown a growth of around 59% against its share of nearly 50% in 2012.

In the third quarter of 2013, the PC market has shown some respite, being driven by some of the large government orders around this time, especially in the state government education segment. “Special education projects in states like UP & Tamil Nadu and a much delayed spending in the year from the BFSI segment have largely skewed the overall growth in Q3 towards commercial segment,” said Kiran Kumar, Research Manager at IDC.

MAIT officials said earlier this year that the industry is hopeful that the overall PC sales for 2013-14 will reach around 12.11 million units, registering a modest growth of 8%. According to MAIT executive director Anwar Shirpurwala, one of the focus will be to increase the penetration of laptops and desktops in the rural areas. “we strongly urge the Government to provide cheaper loans so that PC and internet penetration can be further increased in the Class II and Class III towns, and rural areas to reduce the digital divide.

“India has a vast rural population that are dotted with business and end user consumers. Many of them are first-time PC buyers. In rural areas, business is still done through PCs and not mobile, though mobile phones are used extensively for texting and communicating,” says IT analyst Angshuman Das.

Tablet growth optimistic

However, it cannot be ruled out that tablets are showing a highly positive trend and will witness a steady adoption in the future. It is also responsible for the sharp decline of traditional PCs and hitting the sales of the later in the past several quarters. The trend will continue to remain as the CMR study too indicates favorable times ahead for the Indian tablets market as nearly 10% of non-users indicated a strong interest to own a tablet in the coming year. 

Fifty-one per cent of tablet users spend more than two hours a day on their device and 40% consumers use their tablets for chatting, messaging and email several times a day, indicating the emergence of tablets as a preferred mode of communication, the study said. The study also pointed out that 87% respondent Android operating system-based tablets are the most preferred one followed by Apple iPad used by 10% of the users.