Laptop/ notebooks manufacturers are expecting their sales to skyrocket with crucial assembly elections this year and general elections next year. State governments across the board order laptops in bulk for distribution among school students, especially in election years.

For instance, before the Uttar Pradesh (UP) assembly elections last year, the UP government had announced its proposal to give free laptops to the meritorious students of class X and XII, for which the students required to apply online.

Similarly, the Himachal Pradesh government had also distributed free laptops to around 20,000 meritorious students of class X, XII and graduates of 2018-19 and 2019-20 academic sessions under ‘Srinivasa Ramanujan Student Digital Yojna’. The State government had spent around ₹75 crore under the scheme.

Such trend has been around for quite some time now and States such as Assam, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Odisha have distributed laptops to the meritorious students in the past years.

Expecting bulk orders

So, with the elections next year, companies like HP India are hoping to get bulk orders from various State governments. “Absolutely, some of those discussions are coming back and we are participating with the governments on those particular opportunities as well,” Vickram Bedi, Senior Director - Personal Systems, HP India, told businessline.

He said HP’s commercial business is pretty strong because of such orders too. “We are equally strong on the commercial side and the big part is from the government,” he said.

He said the education side of the laptop business is more ‘aggressive than ever before’ post-Covid, and there are schemes such as cash back, discounts, product bundles — customers can buy a variety of accessories and add-ons at subsidised rates. “All of those offers for students are live now,” Bedi said.

Companies such as Lenovo, Asus India and Dell India are also likely to participate in the same scheme by different governments in the country.

HP market share

According to GFK data, HP has been the leader in consumer personal computer (PC) market by a huge margin with a share of over 40 per cent in 2022. In the first two months of this year also, HP has further extended its market share in consumer PC business and secured a share of 43 per cent in February 2023.

Dell comes next at over 23 per cent in 2022 and Lenovo at 20 per cent.

While the PC market is showing some de-growth, HP has gained market share despite challenging business environment, GFK said.