PC vendors trade price advantage for volume

PC vendors trade price advantage for volume

Analyst firm IDC says the continued recovery in local PC shipments in the first quarter of the year has come at the expense of average selling price.

PC shipments rose two percent over the previous quarter and nine percent year on year, IDC’s statistics show.

Signs of a post-recession recovery were evident by the fourth quarter of 2009, with a quarterly gain of 18 percent in shipments.

IDC market analyst Arunachalam Muthiah says the challenge for vendors is to maintain quarterly sales figures.

“Vendors are selling cheaper models. Shipments have increased dramatically, but in order to maintain revenue vendors need to sell more.”

However, Muthiah warns PC prices may rise when the goods and services tax increases to 15 percent in October.

Toshiba information systems division country manager Gary Wicks agrees the average PC selling price has fallen 10 percent in retail and the SMB market. However, he says this trend has been offset by a growth in sales of his company’s higher value products, such as the Portege ultra-lightweight laptop line and the Qosmio multimedia/gaming range.

“This illustrates the value of producing notebooks across every category, because the ups and downs of each group tend to balance each other out.”

Wicks says tier one retailers such as Dick Smith Electronics have competitive prices for newly-released Toshiba products. He says Toshiba’s price points will keep it competitive in the market.

“If exchange rates remain as they are, then prices should remain stable.”

Acer ANZ marketing manager Robin Tang says the company has generally seen a reduction in mobile computing average selling prices over the past six months.

“This is in part due to the increased mix of netbooks. Overall, the Acer quantity increase compensates for the drop in the average selling price, resulting in the growth of market share.”

He adds that in addition to achieving the number-two position locally, Acer has held a global number-two position in notebooks since Q4 2009.

“The gap between HP and Acer has also narrowed from the past quarter. The growth largely came from selling more notebooks in the US and Europe region, mainly in retail and SMB.”

HP personal systems group marketing communications manager Jess Rangi says the vendor was in a financial quiet period and she could not comment on IDC’s information.

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