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PCs prices are set to rise 10 per cent in 2015 due to the impact of currency devaluation, with consumers to in turn delay purchases and buy down the price curve, according to technology research firm Gartner.With local currencies declining against the dollar, Gartner noted PC vendors will need to raise prices to maintain profit margins.

“We are currently seeing the sharp appreciation of the dollar against most other currencies reflected in companies’ earnings results,” commented  Ranjit Atwal, Gartner research director.

“PC vendors selling to Europe and Japan, where local currencies have fallen up to 20 per cent since the start of 2015, have little choice than to raise prices to preserve profits.”

Atwal added that vendors will sell PCs with fewer features in a bid to keep prices down, with the focus to shift to regions least affected by currency impacts. Despite this, vendors’ margins are set to fall.

Through 2016, Gartner expects 30 per cent of PC consumers to buy down the price curve in mature markets.

Comprising 30 per cent of the market, price-driven consumers (of PCs priced at less than US$500) will purchase less expensive PCs with lower specifications to counter price rises, while, at 40 per cent of the market, value-driven consumers (of PCs priced at US$500 to US$800) will delay purchases due to rising prices.

Feature-driven consumers (of PCs priced at over US$800), comprising the remaining 30 per cent of the market, will extend lifetimes by 10 per cent to compensate for higher prices and absorb remaining price increases.

Meanwhile, businesses are set to focus on other IT budgets with currency-driven shortfalls, such as software and services, drawing from PC budgets.

“Large organisations will look to lengthen their PC lifetimes by six months (10 per cent) in comparison with 2014, rather than buying less expensive models or removing requirements for key features,” Atwal stated. “In addition, purchases of optical drives and optional accessories will disappear.

“While we expect large organisations to cut their PC unit purchases by 20 per cent during 2015, due to price rises, small businesses will behave like value-driven consumers and look to purchase consumer PCs instead.”

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