With the PC market saturating in 2022 after a sharp growth period during the pandemic, the weakening Rupee may make it difficult for consumers in India to buy a decent laptop within their budgets. “The challenge is real. With Rs 80 for 1 USD, the cost of getting products from across the globe to India is increasing but we are trying our best to absorb this cost as much as possible,” told Dinesh Nair, Director, Consumer Business, Lenovo India in an interaction with News18 Tech.
If you pay attention to the prices of laptops over the past couple of years you will realise that prices of laptops have increased. Even before the pandemic struck in 2020, it was possible to buy a decent laptop by spending Rs 30,000 to Rs 35,000 for daily usage. However, this has changed and now you are required to spend upwards of Rs 45,000 to get the same experience.
Nair mentioned that while the chip shortage has eased a lot and supply chain related issues have been ironed out, one of the key reasons for the increase in prices of laptops in general is due to the “premiumisation” of the market. “Buyers are demanding better specs like more RAM, high capacity SSD, better display quality along with tough build quality. Improved features will always drive costs up. Gone are the days when 4GB RAM, 512GB HDD and DOS used to be enough for buyers.”
But what’s interesting is that despite the rising price of laptops, the industry is now making things look affordable by introducing easy financing options, extending warranty along with bundled offers.
“At Lenovo, we have products starting at Rs 30,000 and going up to premium price points to cater to all kinds of demands. But what we are looking at is making it affordable for buyers to make the purchase,” said Nair.
“Now, Rs 30,000 may not be affordable to a lot of people if they are asked to pay it upfront. But through monthly EMIs, we are able to make things affordable. More than the price points, our focus right now is to make Lenovo products affordable to a larger audience,” he added.
In order to boost demand, Lenovo has also started to sell directly from its own website through the support of physical Lenovo stores across India. “The biggest advantage of this is you can get your new Lenovo laptop delivered quickly, compared to other online channels like Amazon, Flipkart, etc as it allows consumers to buy online from a store near their house,” Nair said.
Talking about competition from smartphone brands like Realme, Xiaomi, Samsung and other new players launching affordable laptops in the market, Nair candidly responded by saying that the market in 2022 is different and huge demand during the pandemic is no longer there.
As per IDC, PC shipments dropped by 12.6% worldwide to 72 million units in the April-June period of 2022. ”This is the sharpest decline in nine years for the global PC market, brought on by geopolitical, economic and supply chain challenges impacting all regional markets,” according to IDC.
“The laptop market is quite different from smartphones. There isn’t much room to play with pricing. While everyone is welcome to join the PC market, it takes a lot to establish yourself and gain consumer’s trust in this market,” he added.