LG Electronics India Ltd (LGEIL), the wholly owned subsidiary of the South Korean chaebol, plans to introduce notebooks in India after the budget if duty and tax provisions are favourable for marketing the high-end product.
"We are keen to launch our global range of notebooks in the Indian market, which has witnessed a 40-50 percent surge in the sale of high-end PC products during the current fiscal (2004-05)," said LGEIL general manager R. Manikandan here Thursday.
He said the launch date would be decided after a study of the import duty and taxation measures that would be announced in the forthcoming budget for the next fiscal (2005-06).
"Should the provisions be favourable and in line with the tariff levels in Southeast Asia, we will be able to price our notebooks competitively for Indian customers," Manikandan said.
Under the WTO agreement, the government is bound to bring import tariffs on par with levels prevailing in Southeast Asian countries - with tariffs on several electronic and hardware products being brought down to 0-5 percent from April 1, 2005 as against 15-20 percent presently.
According to the latest International Data Corporation (IDC) survey of the Indian IT hardware sector, LGEIL has emerged third in consumer segment, next to HP and HCL, with its range of desktop PCs, LCD/TFT monitors and DVD writers as part of its display and optical storage devices (OSDs).
"We will introduce two models of Centrino-based laptops at the entry levels in the first quarter of next fiscal and scale up the range with high-end notebooks that will have wireless mobile computing," Manikandan told reporters after launching the company's new products in Karnataka.
LG's rival and the other Korean chaebols, Samsung Electronics, have already entered the growing notebook market in India last year. IBM, Dell, HP and Acer are the other leading global brands vying for a pie of the mobile PC market share.
Within two years of entering the Indian market, the IT division of LGEIL has sold a range of products valued at Rs.7.64 billion ($174 million), constituting 11 percent of its total sales of Rs.70 billion in the calendar year of 2004.
In the 12-month period last year, the LG's IT segment posted a growth of 65 percent, with a market share of 34 percent in monitors and 44 percent in OSDs.
The subsidiary is targeting 100 percent growth in the current year with new range of products in the OSD space. For instance, LG's multi DVD re-writer is the world's only all format product to read and write.
Similarly, its 17-inch Flatron LCD/TFT monitor with f.Engine technology sets a new standard for response time.
While the DVDs are shipped from South Korea, the LCD/TFT monitors and PCs are manufactured at LGEIL's plant at Noida in Uttar Pradesh, near Delhi. The company has also opened its second production facility near Pune in Maharashtra in 2004.