With PC sales volume continually falling, you'd think that prices would follow suit so as to stimulate consumer and business demand. The news today throws that logic out the window and confirms that some of the top PC vendors are planning to raise prices in 2017. If Apple gets away with it, then why can't they, right? Apple has led the way in pricing for success for some time now and more PC vendors are going to follow that model.
According to a supply chain report today, in order to reflect continual hikes in component costs, including display panels, DRAM, SSDs, Li batteries, PC vendors including Apple are likely planning to raise retail prices when new models equipped with revised Kaby Lake processors launched in Q3 2017.
Intel is planning to release upgraded Kaby Lake processors in Q3 and PC vendors are expected to release new products with increased prices to target back-to-school demand.
At an analyst conference in February, Lenovo COO Gianfranco Lanci stated that PC component shortages have not improved and the company will raise its PC prices in order to reflect some of the increased costs.
Asustek Computer CEO Jerry Shen also recently noted that the company's biggest challenges in 2017 are exchange rate fluctuations and component price hikes. To minimize the impact from the component pricing, Asustek is also planning to increase the prices for its new products.
The component shortages are also expected to create more pressure on small PC vendors, as big vendors placing bigger amounts of component orders will be given priority by their suppliers.
With Apple considered a premium vendor, they're likely to lead the way in premium pricing again this year. While many thought that the latest MacBook Pro was too expensive, Apple's Phil Schiller shruged off such talk. He stated back in October 2016:
"Affordability is absolutely something we care about. But we don't design for price, we design for the experience and the quality people expect from Mac. Sometimes that means we end up at the higher end of the range, but not on purpose, just because that's what it costs."
With a statement like that, it would seem that Apple will use the current price increases of components to justify their next price increases – and this time premium PC vendors are likely to follow Apple's lead.
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