India's traditional PC market, including desktops, notebooks, and workstations, registered a 37.3 per cent decline year-on-year for the June 2020 quarter to 2.1 million units, according to research firm IDC.
The traditional PC market had registered a total shipment of 3.3 million units in the June 2019 quarter, which was the biggest quarter in the past five years as Lenovo had executed a mega deal of 1.1 million units for Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (ELCOT).
"Outside this deal, the PC market saw an annual decline of 6.3 per cent in Q2 2020. In the product categories, desktop PCs were the most impacted with a 46.4 per cent decline," IDC said in a report.
Discounting Lenovo's ELCOT deal, notebooks grew 17.6 per cent in the June 2020 quarter from the year-ago period, it added.
The consumer segment had a relatively small quarter since the market was operational for just 45 days due to the countrywide lockdown in the first half of the quarter, IDC said.
However, strong demand from e-learning was able to cover the gap to some extent, it added.
The consumer segment saw a y-o-y decline of 21 per cent in the June 2020 quarter, while there was a 3.3 per cent quarter-on-quarter growth.
Online buying played an important role in this quarter, and as a result, vendors shipped almost one-third of their PCs to online channels, IDC said.
HP Inc retained the top position in the overall PC market with 32.8 per cent share in the June 2020 quarter, followed by Lenovo (27.5 per cent), Dell Technologies (17.8 per cent), Acer Group (9.9 per cent) and Asus (5.1 per cent).
IDC said the countrywide lockdown forced everyone to work from home (WFH), resulting in strong demand for notebooks as enterprises rushed to ensure business continuity by providing its workforce the required infrastructure to work at home.
Most IT services, global enterprises, and consulting companies placed large orders for notebook PCs, it added.
"This led to an all-time high of enterprise notebook purchases with shipments growing by 105.5 per cent y-o-y in Q2 2020. As a result, enterprises reduced desktop buying and even converted a few orders to notebooks," IDC noted.
Small and medium businesses (SMBs) also increased their procurement of notebooks with relatively moderate growth of 12.1 per cent y-o-y in the quarter under review, it added.
IDC India Market Analyst (PC Devices) Bharath Shenoy said the demand for notebooks exceeded expectations with most of the vendors exiting the quarter with minimum inventory, and despite the supply and logistics challenges in the first half of the quarter, companies executed most of the large orders in the June 2020 quarter.
"Also, many companies shifted their employees to notebooks for the first time; this change is surely going to alter their procurement strategy in the long term with a mix of in-office and remote workforce becoming a reality for many organisations," he added.
Commenting on the outlook for the coming quarters, IDC India Associate Research Manager (Client Devices) Jaipal Singh said that as most of the big orders for business continuity planning have been more or less executed in the quarter gone by, the PC market is now expected to face challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis and the looming economic situation.
Enterprise buying will come back down to earth and SMB demand is expected to remain muted for some quarters, he added.
"When it comes to new growth opportunities, the demand for online learning is still largely untapped and encompasses huge potential," he said.
He added that to unlock this big segment, brands would need to be more innovative in addressing the specific challenges related to e-learning. "It would require cross-platform and learning ecosystem partnerships to onboard first-time users."