HP tops in personal computer segment: Gartner

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Mumbai, Dec 13: HP continues to retain its number one position in personal computers segment, constantly widening the gap with its closest competitor HCL due to strong growth in mobile PCs.

With home markets expanding to 26.4 per cent of total personal computer (PC) sales, computer shipments in India reached over 2.2 million units in the third quarter of 2007, an increase of 19.7 per cent over the same period in 2006, according to Gartner Inc. ''HP continues to retain its number one position, constantly widening the gap with its closest competitor HCL, through a robust growth in mobile PC shipments,'' said Diptarup Chakraborti, principal research analyst for Gartner's client computing group.

''The third quarter usually coincides with the festival buying season in India - the biggest consumer spending period. However, this year, in spite of the festival buying season falling in Q4, consumer spending has not followed the conventional pattern, proof of which has been the aggressive retail sales of mobile PCs in the third quarter itself,'' added Mr Chakraborti.

Country's mobile PC sales grew 99.4 per cent to nearly half a million in the third quarter of 2007. Acer leapfrogged to the top three mobile PC brands, as its focus on channel partners and large format retail outlets have started to pay off, said Gartner.

HCL, a late entrant in the mobile PC market has also witnessed strong shipments close on the heels of its nearest rival Toshiba, vying for the fifth position, the report added.

Desktop PC sales grew by 7.8 per cent to 1.72 million units.

This has been the highest growth in the last three quarters, driven predominantly by large brands like HP, HCL, Lenovo and Acer supported by the SMB segment, which is being seen as the new driver of desk based PC growth in India.

The slow down of the desktop PC market can be attributed to negative growth of the white box segment, which has been shrinking due to the marketing onslaught of the large local and multinational PC vendors and the home market's growing preference for mobile PCs over desktop PCs, the report pointed out.

Large format retail outlets, a recent phenomenon in the PC market, have started contributing in a big way towards driving PC sales, especially mobile PC sales in urban areas, according to Gartner.

With a major expansion of these outlets on the cards, they are expected to help draw in a large number of first time buyers, the report added.


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