Sleek communication devices such as tablets have finally started cannibalising personal computer sales in India.
More Indians preferred tablets for their computing needs in 2011-12 than netbooks, a smaller form of a laptop.
According to the annual PC sales data by the hardware industry body, Manufa-cturers' Association for Information Technology, only 280,000 units of netbooks were sold in 2011-12.
However, industry estimates, about 350,000 tablets were sold in India during the period.
"It's too early to predict trends, but in 2011-12, sales of tablet PCs had started cannibalising the netbook sales.
Consumers preferred alternative devices over netbooks and this was reflected in the 11 per cent drop from the previous year in the number of netbooks sold," said MAIT president A Bhardwaj.
While tablet is emerging as a household product, laptops are still considered as business-oriented devices.
The laptop or notebook category is growing at 26 per cent year-on-year, he added.
"The sales of tablets were primarily driven by the availability of low-cost devices at the sub-Rs 10,000 mark.
"People are mostly using it as a web browsing device," Jayanth Kolla, co-founder
According to the observations of Convergence Catalyst, the average monthly sale of tablets in first two quarters of 2012 has almost trebled.
Besides, the tablet vendors have created a niche for them by offering the devices at low-price point.
The vendors target various segments in the market including education and entertainment.
They also make the devices more lucrative by bundling content with those.
This has helped them win over the netbook category, said Sabyasachi Patra, executive director of MAIT.
For example, Micromax has been targeting the education segment with their FunBook while the Reliance tabs are is targeting the youth segment.
MAIT is undertaking a study on the tablet PC market to understand the demand and impact of the device on the Indian market , Patra added.
According to the industry performance report released by MAIT on Tuesday, the sales Pcs grew 16 per cent in 2011-12 over the previous year.
In the total PCs sales, desktops accounted for 6.7 million units (a growth of 11 per cent over the previous year).
The sales of notebooks stood at 3.7 million units (up 26 per cent).