Price of new computers on the rise

Price of new computers on the rise

High demand, chip shortages key factors

IT products recorded a sales surge in April despite the third wave of the pandemic.
IT products recorded a sales surge in April despite the third wave of the pandemic.

New computer models are seeing an uptick in price following the global shortage of semiconductors and a surge in demand for IT devices used for remote work and study, according to IT device distributors.

Somsak Pejthaveeporndej, chief executive of VST ECS Thailand, said the world faces a shortage of components such as integrated circuits used in a broad range of devices, including computers and IT products.

The company's typical inventory for computer products is around 30 days, but since last year, inventory has dropped to 14-15 days, he said.

The shortage emerged in the middle of last year, however the situation is expected to improve by year-end, said Mr Somsak.

This month, new computer products saw an increase in price of 800-2,000 baht, he said.

Takon Niyomthai, head of IT business development at SET-listed IT retail chain Com7, said the shortage of components and computer devices continues.

The shortage includes graphics cards, display panels, memory storage devices and CPUs.

Prices of these components rose by US$30-200 (950 baht to 6,300 baht) depending on products, excluding VGA cards.

"Graphics card prices are fluctuating as the component is also used for cryptocurrency mining," Mr Takon said.

Computer makers are also focused on sending more quality products to Europe and the US rather than Thailand because they can sell products there at higher prices, he said.

In Thailand, the inventory of many entry-level notebooks is short -- only one week -- as demand is strong among local customers.

Though April is usually low season for IT product sales, last month sales of devices were strong despite the third wave as such items were considered necessary for online study by students, said Mr Takon.

"Notebooks, tablets and tailor-made computer desktops have shown strong growth in sales," he said.

"More vaccination sites also means they need more computers for registration and data validation. Computers are also needed by freelancers and new businesses."

Chukkrit Watcharasaksilp, chief of sales and marketing at Advice, said prices of graphics cards, hard disks and entry-level notebooks have surged because of the shortage of components.

The company expects flat growth in sales this year.

As a result, Advice is pushing new campaigns such as drive-through pick-up and promotions via advice.co.th thanks to the growth in online customers.

Meanwhile, HP Thailand said it is reviewing and adjusting prices in accordance with market conditions.

Challenges such as increased tariffs, freight costs, packaging and rising costs for materials and components have resulted in a surge in prices for several computer and printing products, said Lim Choon Teck, managing director of HP Thailand.

Narathip Wirunechatapant, chief executive of IT retailer Jaymart Mobile, said the smartphone segment has not felt the impact of component shortages as much as computer suppliers.

The company redesigned Jaymartstore.com to attract customers while allowing them to use its digital token JFin coins to buy products.

"Our growth remains intact as there is still demand for smartphones costing 5,000-15,000 baht," said Mr Narathip.

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