Laptops getting more expensive

The cheap Netbook PC’s might not be so cheap anymore, warns NSW retailer Bing Lee.

The struggling global economy means that low-cost laptops may not be so cheap come Christmas time.

The drop in the Australian dollar means that the popular sub-$1000 notebook sales will become more expensive as the price of imports goes up, said NSW retailer Bing Lee.
Phil Moujaes, general manager of Bing Lee, said that manufacturers were not able to provide laptops at such low price points any more.

“That’s going to change because the Australian dollar has lost a lot of value in the past couple of weeks and as you know most of those products are imported, so I think the price erosion in those categories in the past few years is not going to be there any more.” said Moujaes.

But not all retailers agree with Bing Lee, with JB Hi-Fi and retailer Harvey Norman unfazed by the recent economic downturn.

“Computers are priced at levels that are acceptable to the consumer now, so any upward movement in price could receive some backlash,” said Richard Uechtritz, managing director of JB Hi-Fi.

Uechtritz said that JB Hi-Fi have only begun selling laptops recently, but added that “laptops in particular will continue great sales figures because they have become a must-have item for people to connect with the world.”

Gerry Harvey, chairman of Harvey Norman, isn’t worried about future price hikes. “I don’t see any great problem because you’ve still got very high employment, lower tax than last year and on the other side you’ve got higher petrol prices, so there will probably be lower interest rates.”

Market analyst Felipe Rego agrees, saying that high-end computers are more likely to suffer.

“If vendors want to continue reaping growth they need to position themselves with aggressive prices across a range of products.”

“High-end machines will suffer first because they are products that consumers spend discretionary income on,” said Rego.

Source: The Australian