Mobile Booms in India Even as PC Growth Flattens

India's mobile market continues to boom despite the global economic downturn, though its PC market is seeing flat growth.

The downturn has yet to affect consumer spending in India but enterprises, which account for the bulk of PC demand, have cut spending, said Kapil Dev Singh, country manager at research firm IDC India.

The country added 10.35 million wireless subscribers in November, compared to 10.42 million added during October, according to data released Monday by the local telecom regulator.

India added 9.22 million mobile connections in July, 9.16 million in August and 10.07 million in September, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). At the end of November, the total base of wireless subscribers stood at 336 million, TRAI said.

The boom in mobile demand can be put down to a perception among consumers that mobile phones are a basic requirement, Singh said. Falling handset prices have also helped grow, he added.

In contrast, India's PC market is showing signs of flattening, according to IDC. It said last week that PC growth was flat in the third quarter and is likely to stay that way through next year.

PC sales grew by only 1.7 percent in the third quarter over the same period last year, to 2.27 million units, with inventories piling up in the channel.

While PC shipments to large and very large businesses were down by 13 percent from the same quarter last year, sales to the home segment grew by 16 percent as buying increased at the start of the new school year, IDC said.

The first signs of a slowdown in the Indian PC market came in the first quarter, when sales grew by about 10 percent to 2.1 million units, far lower than last year, when sales grew 20 percent to 6.5 million units.

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