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Monday, 16 April 2018 | MYT 6:00 AM

PC prices up as demand slows

The prices of personal computers (PC) are rising as slowing demand for smartphones and PCs drive manufacturers to chase higher profit margins, reports research company Gartner Inc.

Its principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa said component companies are cautious about expanding their production capabilities due to the slowdown, leading to persistent component shortages and a rising bill of materials.

"With fewer people buying new machines, manufacturers need to get the highest profit margin from each sale. To do that, they are raising the selling points and focusing on customer experience or perception of value," she said. 

Preliminary results found that worldwide PC shipments totalled 61.7 million units in 2018's first quarter, a 1.4% decline from the same period of 2017. 

This marked the 14th consecutive quarter of decline for the PC market experienced, dating back to 2012's second quarter.

"The major contributor to the decline came from China, where unit shipments declined 5.7% year over year," said Kitagawa.

She added that was partially due to no significant sign of strong upgrading to the special version of Windows 10 from the Chinese government institutions plus weak consumer demand with most buyers having taken advantage of the aggressive promotions offered at the end of 2017.

In 2018's first quarter, PC shipments in Asia/Pacific declined 3.9% compared with the same period last year, while shipments in the US decreased 2.9%.

PC shipments in Asia/Pacific totalled 21.9 million units, while PC shipments totalled 11.8 million units in the US, during the period. 

However, the top three vendors – HP, Lenovo and Dell – did see an increase, accounting for 56.9% of global PC shipments in 2018's first quarter, up from  54.5% of shipments in 2017's first quarter.