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More consumers are choosing premium laptops in India: Intel

The Indian Express logo The Indian Express 05-07-2022 Anuj Bhatia

Not just smartphones, Indian consumers are opening up wallets and choosing premium laptops, an emerging trend that hints at where the PC market is headed in the world’s second-most populous country.

“The compromise era is slowly going away as Indian consumers really want bang for the buck, so they are willing to spend more for performance,” Akshay Kamath, Director PC Client Sales - India, Intel Corporation, tells indianexpress.com.

Kamath, who was in Delhi recently for Intel’s 12th generation product showcase event, says a lot of students who otherwise would have bought a non-gaming machine in the past are now choosing a high-spec laptop that can also be used for gaming. And the reason for choosing a slightly more premium laptop is the kind of things users want to do such as coding and content creation that are beyond regular web browsing and consuming content.

The demand for high-performing laptops and a variety of different device options from PC makers are some of the key factors that highlight the rise in premium PC solutions, including devices with thin-and-light form factors and dedicated gaming notebooks, in India.

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Kamath agrees that the boom in demand for PCs during the pandemic has rationalised a bit with the opening of schools and offices, but he still feels that people are still going to refresh their PCs in 3-4 years. A trend that’s new but paints a positive state of the PC market in India is that first-time buyers are ready to pay a little more and buy a device with better specifications and features, moving up the ladder in price point. Because of that, the demand for laptops in the Rs 30,000 and Rs 40,000 are high as compared to devices in the sub-Rs 25,000 segment.

“Indian consumers are evolving in their requirement of performance and that’s why you are seeing what traditionally used to be sub-25K has moved up to 30K and above,” he said. “There is a shift more towards mainstream and more towards premium.”

© Provided by The Indian Express The demand for laptops in the Rs 30,000 and Rs 40,000 are high as compared to devices in the sub-Rs 25,000 segment. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia / Indian Express)

But who is driving PC growth momentum in India? According to Kamath, the growth is coming from tier-3 and tier-4 cities and that’s where most first-time buyers are concentrated. “They wouldn't want to compromise beyond a certain point.”

“India as a market still has still untapped potential,” he said, adding that everybody has realized that if you want to do serious stuff, PC is the place to do it.

The business environment has quickly changed over the last few months and Intel is facing the heat. The rise of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Apple is putting pressure on Intel. AMD’s next chip architecture called “Zen 4” will be released later this year, and Apple just announced a new M2 processor that’s powering its latest MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro. Apple has grown significantly in the PC market, thanks to its shift to its own custom M-series processors used in the Mac. In fact, Apple was one of the few PC markers that were able to grow its sales during the March quarter.

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