India’s New Licensing Rules for Laptop, PC, Tablet Imports May Impact Apple, Dell

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India is imposing new licensing requirements on laptops, tablets, and personal computer imports that could impact such companies as Apple (AAPL), Dell (DELL), and Samsung.

Key Takeaways

  • India imposes import licensing requirements for laptops, tablets, and personal computers.
  • The regulation aims to increase local manufacturing in India and restrict imports from China over security concerns.
  • The market size of laptops in India is expected to reach $8.1 billion in 2028.

What Are The New Rules?

Previously the import of computers was free, but the new regulations require a special license which would increase wait times for each new model launch. India introduced similar restrictions for TVs in 2020.

Last year, the market size of laptops in India was $5.5 billion, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.7% between 2023 and 2028. It is expected to reach $8.1 billion by 2028.

Though the government did not explain this move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been pushing local manufacturing under his “Make in India” plan. India has a $2.1 billion financial incentive strategy to entice hardware makers to set up a shop in the South Asian nation.

Tech Companies May Feel The Pinch

Apple manufactures roughly 7% of its global iPhone output in India though not iPads or MacBooks. From April to December last year, the tech giant exported more than $2.5 billion worth of iPhones from India, accelerating the shift away from China as geopolitical tensions rise.

Market leaders in India, Dell and HP, have a manufacturing presence of commercial computers. In India’s personal computer market, HP had a 30% market share in 2022, followed by Dell at 19%. However, their production of computers and laptops in India is limited and relies on imported parts.

A source told Reuters that besides increasing local manufacturing, the government also aims to restrict imports from China owing to security concerns. Half of the items restricted are shipped from China, with whom India has border clashes. The licensing requirement will allow imports of only trusted partners.

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