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  • Japan PC Retailers See Steep Rise in PC Prices in June
  • July 20, 1998 (TOKYO) -- The average prices of desktop/tower and notebook personal computers at major Japanese retailers soared as of June 16, 1998.
    The results came from a survey conducted by "Nikkei Best PC," a PC purchase guide, and compiled by "Nikkei Market Access," a membership data service.

    The average retail price of desktop/tower PCs was 278,924 yen (US$1,980), up 15.4 percent or 37,227 yen (US$265) compared to the previous month (See chart).

    As for notebook PCs, it was 310,931 yen (US$2,210), up 17.9 percent or 47,121 yen (US$335) compared to the previous month.

    As full lineups of summer models from each manufacturer hit the counter in June, the rise of average retail prices was predictable.

    But the extent of the differences in price was observed for the first time since the survey began.

    As for both desktop/tower and notebook PCs, high-end models with Pentium II microprocessors accounted for a higher percentage of the whole pie of all types of PCs sold.

    At volume retailers of electric appliances in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, where the survey was conducted, demand for high-end models was very high. Inventory adjustments made to old spring models were almost completed in May, and this helped the average prices rise sharply.

    There are other factors that pushed up prices. Some standard models have memory as large as 64MB or 96MB, and some notebook PCs come with a modem card. Such added properties make nominal increments of the prices look great, but substantial price increases wouldn't be as wide as the actual figures if compared with models sold during May.

    With the launch of new models pre-installed with Windows 98 scheduled for the end of July, the rise in retail prices in July is not expected to be large because most products will have the same specifications as June models.

    The survey was performed independently by Nikkei Best PC on retail prices of leading models at 14 major PC mass marketing outlets (16 outlets until February 1998 ) in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. The results are shown in the magazine each month.

    The results are analyzed by dividing types into certain categories, desktop/tower PCs and notebooks, to show the average retail prices. The prices by outlet and by model as of June 16 appear in the August issue of Nikkei Best PC published on July 13 (in Japanese).

    Chart: Average retail price for PCs

    (return to news)

    Related story: Average Notebook PC Sales Price at Japan Retailers Hits Record Low in May

    (Nikkei Market Access)


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    Updated: Sat Jul 18 18:45:50 1998