PC costs to rise on component shortages

The costs associated with making personal computers are set to rise this year as manufacturers struggle to keep up with rising demand.

In a potential sign that industry confidence is gradually returning, statistics published by research consultancy Gartner show that semiconductor prices will edge up by 2.8% during the course of 2010. The figure is in contrast to an annual average decline of 7.8% since the start of the last decade.

According to Gartner’s data, the increase is attributable to a 23% price hike in D-RAM memory chips, which account for about a tenth of a computer’s overall assembly cost. Principal Research Analyst at Gartner Ben Lee said: “In general, there is a steady drop in the cost of a PC every year. If component prices are flat or even increasing, that means they are outperforming expectations.”

Parts including optical disc drives, hard drives and flat-screen monitors are also anticipated to show gains this year, Gartner found.

The shortages are a result of component manufacturers postponing investment plans in response to the poor economic climate, but the latest figures hint that market demand could start to recover early this year.

Statistics published Forrester Research this week forecast that global IT spending will rebound by 8.1% to $1.6 trillion this year, after falling 8.9% in 2009.

Peter Done

Peter Done is managing director of Peninsula Business Services, the personnel and employment law consultancy he set up having already built a successful betting shop business.

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