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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • December ’98 Retail PC Prices in Japan Rise
  • January 25, 1999 (TOKYO) — Japan’s retail prices of personal computers in December 1998 posted a month-to-month increase or leveled off, contrary to the monthly declines in previous years.
    A survey conducted by “Nikkei Best PC,” a magazine for PC buyers, on Dec. 8, 1998 and compiled by “Nikkei Market Access,” the average retail price of desktop/tower type PCs was 252,854 yen (US$2,230), up 6,658 yen (US$60), or 2.7 percent, from November. The average retail price of notebook type PCs was 278,275 yen (US$2,450), down slightly by 174 yen, or 0.1 percent.

    December is the month when PCs sell more briskly than in other months. In and before 1997, the average PC retail price for December tumbled considerably from the previous month. The drop margin ranged from several thousand yen to more than 10,000 yen (US$88). The month-to-month decline were attributable to retailers’ intent to eliminate stocks while the products were in high demand.

    Despite this traditional trend, the average retail PC price did not go down December 1998.

    Nikkei Market Access cited three major reasons for this: (1) The manufacturers adjusted their PC shipments, (2) New models were sold at bargain prices from the beginning and the size of the discount retailers could offer to their customers was not big, and (3) Demand was so strong that there was no need for retailers to cut their retail prices.

    The desktop PCs posted a month-to-month increase of nearly 7,000 yen (US$60), supported by strong demand for high-performance models equipped with Pentium II microprocessors and a 15-in. thin-film transistor liquid-crystal display monitors. The average retail price of the notebook PCs has been leveling off since October.

    Nikkei Best PC is conducting this survey regularly on 14 major PC volume shops in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya and is carrying the outcome in its monthly issues. The survey, however, covered 16 volume shops until February 1998. The February issue carries retail prices as of Dec. 8 by model and by shop.

    Related stories:
    ¥ Desktop PC Retail Prices in Japan Fall Unexpectedly in Nov.
    ¥ Japan’s PC Sales in 3rd Week of Dec. Level Off
    ¥ Japan’s PC Sales in Second Week of Dec. Expand Sharply
    ¥ Japan’s PC Sales Reach Record High in 1st Week of Dec.

    (Nikkei Market Access)

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