It wasn't too long ago that India was an afterthought for many people in the computer industry. For years, the country took a back seat to China. For good reason: China has quickly grown to become the world's second-largest PC market, after only the U.S., and it's likely to become No. 1 in the next few years. This year, Chinese are likely to buy 33.6 million desktops, notebooks, servers, and other computers, according to projections from market research group Gartner. For Indian computer buyers, the number is just 8.8 million.
But the market in China is slowing down just as India is accelerating. Both countries will enjoy growth between 16% and 18% this year, says Martin Gilliland, Asia-Pacific research director for Gartner. But next year India will move ahead, he says. While China's PC market will still enjoy respectable growth of 14%, India's computer sales will grow at a rate higher than 20%. And it won't be a one-year rise. Growth that fast will continue "to at least 2011," says Gilliland.