PCs sales for India grew 19 percent over the same period in the previous year, mainly on strong buying from a number of market segments including e-governance projects and the outsourcing industry, a hardware vendor group said Wednesday.A total of 2.96 million PCs were sold in the six-month period that ended Sept. 30 last year, the Manufacturers Association of Information Technology (MAIT), an association in Delhi of computer hardware vendors, said Wednesday. PC sales are forecast to be close to 6.5 million for the Indian fiscal year ending March 31, primarily because of the strong Indian economy, the group said. Notebook sales grew by 180 percent in the six-month period that ended Sept. 30, while the growth in desktop sales was about 8 percent, according to MAIT data. Intel has forecast that the Indian market is moving toward buying more notebooks than desktop computers because of the mobility they offer. A number of multinational and local brands have slashed prices on their entry-level notebooks to cash in on this new market opportunity. Desktop sales still outstrip notebook sales in India, with sales of notebooks accounting for about 15 percent of all PC sales, MAIT said.Sales of unbranded desktops grew at 27 percent to capture a 40 percent share of the desktop market, despite aggressive price cuts by multinational and local brands. Intel, through its Genuine Intel Dealer (GID) program, has given some legitimacy to this otherwise unorganized sector, consisting to a significant extent of out-of-garage assembly operations. Vendors of unbranded PCs, besides having a strong presence in small towns, also offer lower prices and personalized support. Intel has been assisting some of these vendors to also get into the assembly of notebooks. Multinational PC brands accounted for 37 percent of the desktop market, registering growth of 14 percent. The share of Indian brands fell from 31 percent to 23 percent, after a decline in sales of 20 percent.Business buyers accounted for 77 percent of desktop sales during the period, with home users accounting for the remaining 23 percent. Buyers of notebook computers for home use also increased because of their reduced prices, and accounted for one-third of notebook sales, MAIT said.-John Ribeiro, IDG News Service (Bangalore Bureau)Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.