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  • PC Prices Rise After 4 Months of Declines: Nikkei Best PC Survey
  • November 30, 1998 (TOKYO) -- The average retail price of personal computers in October rose after declining for a period of four months, with the price of desktop/tower types rising 1,829 yen from the previous month to 257,162 yen (US$2,100) and notebook types rising 5,532 yen to 278,024 yen (US$2,270).
    These are the results of a survey conducted by Nikkei Best PC, a magazine for PC buyers. The survey was conducted on Oct. 13, and compiled by Nikkei Market Access.

    The survey found that the month-to-month increase in the retail price of desktop type PCs was 0.7 percent, and that of notebook type PCs was 2.0 percent. Although the rises were relatively small, they were the first increases since June.

    In previous years, October was the month when retailers began curtailing inventory prior to their annual winter sales. Moreover, demand was usually weak in the month, which depressed retail prices. Against the background of this trend, retail prices rose slightly this year.

    Nikkei Market Access attributes the slight increase to three major factors. Sony Corp. and IBM Japan Ltd. began marketing their winter models earlier than usual. Secondly, retailers did not have a massive inventory glut of summer models and were not forced to sharply cut their retail prices. And third, overall customer preferences shifted to high-performance models.

    This year, the summer sale began nearly a month later than usual, due mainly to the release of Windows 98 in late July. After taking advantage of the delay, manufacturers apparently worked out effective strategies for their year-end sales. As a result, retailers are faring well, without suffering any major drops in their sales.

    Sales of desktop PCs equipped with a liquid crystal display (LCD) monitor are especially brisk. In Tokyo's Akihabara district, which has many PC and appliance retail outlets, some stores said the LCD-equipped desktop type accounted for 30 percent of their total sales of desktop PCs.

    Fujitsu Ltd. and NEC Corp. are now releasing their winter models. Due to the strong demand for PCs, a steep decline in the average PC retail price is unlikely to be seen soon.

    Nikkei Best PC conducts the survey on a regular basis, investigating the retail price of mainstay models at 14 volume PC shops in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. It publishes the survey every month.

    Nikkei Market Access releases in Asia BizTech retail prices of PCs at large shops surveyed by GfK Japan Ltd. According to the GfK Japan survey, the average PC retail price declined until mid-October.

    Nikkei Market Access said the gap between the survey results by Nikkei Best PC and GfK Japan was due to different areas covered by the two surveys. Nikkei Best PC surveyed large PC shops in big cities whose main clients are PC enthusiasts who are highly sensitive to prevailing market trends. Many of the clients purchase top-end models. GfK, on the other hand, surveyed large shops that sell home electric appliances across the nation, where buyers are slower to respond to market trends.

    Related stories:
    Japan's PC Sales Brisk in Third Week of October
    PC Sales Brisk in 4th Week of October; Average Sales Price Rises
    Average PC Price in Sept. Remains Stable: Nikkei Best PC Survey

    (Nikkei Market Access)

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    Updated: Fri Nov 27 23:37:19 1998 PDT