India’s PC market grew 45% in 2021, with shipments of desktops, notebooks and tablets reaching 18.6 million units. This was the best year for India since 2013, when shipments grew by 29%. This is a notable achievement, considering most of India was under lockdown in Q1 and Q2, when the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak. While the pandemic dampened business activities to a large extent, it also fueled demand for PCs, especially as students and professionals found themselves out of schools and offices for a prolonged period. Notebooks made up 63% of total shipments, with 11.8 million units shipping, up by 49% year on year and accounting for most of the market growth. Tablets reached 4.4 million units shipped, up 48%, a contrast to the global fall of 3%. 2.4 million desktops shipped, up 27% on 2020.
“While this seems like a great year on paper, it is important to consider 2021 not just as a standalone year but in relation to 2020,” said Jash Shah, Research Analyst at Canalys. “When the pandemic hit in 2020 and PC supplies were squeezed, vendors naturally prioritized western markets, such as the US and Western Europe, leaving markets like India with a reduced supply. India’s PC shipments fell 3% in 2020, creating a lot of pent-up demand, which was amplified due to the second COVID-19 wave in the first half of 2021, leading to the record growth that we’ve seen this year.”
“While 2021 saw a huge jump in shipments, the same is not expected of 2022 in India,” said Shah. “We will see major corrections, especially in the consumer market, affecting notebooks and tablets. But there will be stronger demand from SMBs and enterprise customers, as the number of COVID-19 cases falls, vaccination rates surge, and businesses and schools return to normal. Key themes will remain local production of PCs, important from a government orders fulfilment perspective, and commercial upgrades, which will be spurred by the return to offices and new policies around hybrid working. PCs in education remain a major opportunity in the long term, given India’s low student PC ownership ratios. But as students return to school, demand is expected to soften in the short term. The threat, however, lies not in local demand, but in global supply. As China takes a strong stance on its Zero-COVID policy, implementing lockdowns in major manufacturing hubs across the country, supply disruptions will occur, and India is again expected to get the short end of the stick.”
PC shipments in Q4 2021 reached a total of 5.3 million units, up 46% on Q4 2020, and 67% on Q4 2019, when 3.2 million units shipped. Notebooks grew 40% to reach 3.3 million shipments, while desktop shipments were up 70% year on year to surpass 700,000 units for the first time in eight quarters. Tablet shipments grew 49% over the same period last year to reach 1.3 million units. Most of this growth is due to companies such as Lenovo and Samsung, which have increased their ability to fulfil orders by manufacturing locally
- HP accelerated in Q4 2021 to knock Lenovo into second place, taking 25.0% of the total market with 1.3 million PCs shipped, an impressive growth of 68%. HP solidified its dominance in notebook and desktop shipments, accounting for 32% and 35% in each category, with year-on-year growth rates of 58% and 134% respectively. The vendor has committed to the government’s production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, amplifying its local production portfolio from just desktops a few quarters ago to notebooks, enabling them to feature competitively in the Government e-Marketplace (GeM).
- Lenovo took second place overall (tablets included) in Q4 2021, marginally behind HP, accounting for 21.8% of the total PC market with 1.2 million PC shipments. Lenovo grew shipments 45% year on year to maintain its growth streak, backed by strong growth in notebooks and tablets, which were up 49% and 71% year on year respectively. The partnership with Wingtech to manufacture tablets pushed Lenovo’s tablet share up to 42% in the second half of 2021 from 26% in the first half. Lenovo’s desktop shipments in India remained poor throughout the pandemic, falling by 30% in Q4 2021 to reach 82,000 units.
- Dell finished third with just over 800,000 shipments in Q4 2021, accounting for 15% of the total PC market (including tablets) and up by 33% year on year. Dell saw exceptional growth rates across all consumer and commercial segments. In Q4 2021, consumer shipments grew by 58%, while commercial shipments grew 29% year on year.
- Acer maintained fourth place in PC shipments (including tablets), surpassing the 300,000 mark for a third quarter in a row. In Q4 2021, Acer shipped 362,000 units, up 78% year on year. This surge was fueled by Acer’s tremendous 187% year-on-year increase in desktop shipments to 174,000 units. This put it second only to HP in desktops and ended eight quarters of falling shipments for Acer.
- Apple moved up the ranks in Q4 2021 to take fifth place in overall PC shipments (including tablets), rocketing by 100% year on year to a record 359,000 shipments in a single quarter. Aided by the launch of new iPads in September 2021, Apple’s tablet shipments continued to climb, reaching a new high of 172,000 units in Q4 2021, up 130% on last year. MacBook shipments surged by 85% year on year to 187,000 units, strongly bolstered by the costing strategy of the M1-powered notebooks.