India has 1.3 billion people. They bought 3.4m PCs in Q3

Best result for seven years comes as tragedy shows tech remains out of reach for many

India clocked up its most prolific PC-buying quarter for seven years, with 3.4 million new devices shipped in the country between July and September 2020.

Analyst firm IDC says the consumer PC segment recorded its biggest quarter ever, with two million devices shipped and 41.7 percent year-on-year growth and 167.2 percent growth compared to the previous quarter.

HPE leads the market with 28.2 percent market share, ahead of Lenovo’s 21.7 percent, Dell’s 21.3 percent. Acer and ASUS have 9.5 percent and 7.5 percent of the market respectively.

IDC India’s market analyst for PC devices Bharath Shenoy said enterprise sales were strong as large businesses invested in remote working. Smaller businesses started buying again in the quarter.

China's population is around 50 million higher than India's but the Middle Kingdom buys around 17 million PCs each quarter

No wonder IDC's Shenoy says India is an “underpenetrated” market, adding that that the shift to working from home and studying from home means PC vendors should have a few quarters of good times ahead.

But the fact remains that even with strong demand, many Indians can’t afford PCs.

That issue was highlighted last week after a 19-year-old student, enrolled in a tertiary institution under a program for gifted young women pursuing STEM, took her own life after feeling that the cost of her education was a burden on her parents.

Aishwarya Reddy was participating in classes from lockdown though struggled to do so using a smartphone. Her family, whose income was reduced by the COVID-19 virus pandemic, could not afford a second-hand laptop.

India's government and the institution the student attended have come in for criticism for not offering sufficient support. India’s government went so far as to put out a press release acknowledging the tragedy though also pointing out that the student did not lodge documents that would have secured scholarship payments and improved her family’s financial position.

Which rather puts one good quarter of PC shipments into perspective. ®

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