This initiative positions HP to compete against the 9-inch tablet market with its 11-inch Chromebooks.
Hewlett Packard (HP), a leader in the personal computer market, has announced a collaboration with Google to produce Chromebooks in India. Chromebooks, known for their affordability, run on Google’s Chromebook operating system (OS). Although they currently hold a low-single-digit share in HP’s Indian portfolio, this move to local manufacturing aims to meet the rising demand for budget-friendly PCs, particularly from the education sector.
Despite being low-cost hardware, the local production is expected to keep pricing competitive. The manufacturing will take place at the Flex Facility near Chennai, where HP has been producing various laptops and desktops since August 2020, starting from October 2.
This partnership between HP and Google is intended to bolster the digital education ecosystem in India, providing affordable, secure, and high-quality computing devices to educational authorities, schools, and institutions. Chromebooks are a leading device in K-12 education worldwide, aiding over 50 million students and teachers.
India’s shift towards digital education has led to increased investment in computing hardware, including laptops, desktops, and tablets, in government schools. The local production of Chromebooks, priced between Rs 20,000 and Rs 30,000, is poised to help HP secure orders from these institutions. This initiative also positions HP to compete against the 9-inch tablet market with its 11-inch Chromebooks.
Vickram Bedi, Senior Director of Personal Systems at HP India, emphasised HP’s commitment to advancing digital equity and supporting digital education in India. He stated that manufacturing Chromebooks locally would provide Indian students with easier access to affordable PCs, aligning with the Government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Google’s Chromebook has gained global popularity in the education sector and is also gaining traction in India. Bani Dhawan, Head of Education at Google South Asia, highlighted Google’s efforts in supporting the local education ecosystem’s shift to digital-first learning experiences. The production of Chromebooks in collaboration with HP is a significant step in this direction, aiming to foster the adoption of technology in more schools across India.
HP’s manufacturing operations in India have expanded considerably since 2020. From December 2021, the company began producing a broad range of laptops, including HP EliteBooks, HP ProBooks, and HP G8 series notebooks. The expansion also includes various models of commercial desktops like mini towers, mini desktops, small form factor desktops, and All-in-One PCs, featuring both Intel and AMD processors, catering to diverse customer segments. This expansion reaffirms HP’s dedication to the ‘Make in India’ initiative, especially following its application for the Production Linked Incentive 2.0 for IT hardware.