Laptop prices are set to increase as the rand weakens. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
Cape Town – Increasing price pressure on laptops have resulted in more people delaying purchases or resorting to renting PCs, says a retailer.
“We, at The Notebook Company, are seeing pressure on our laptop sales. Tablet sales are also under increasing strain from the bigger format smartphones and from phablets, which are fast growing market share. But we are picking up the slack with laptop rentals,” said Christopher Riley, chief executive of The Notebook Company.
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), currency fluctuations and lower resources prices are factors that have negatively impacted on laptop prices in Africa.
“Currency fluctuations both inside and outside the MEA region will remain largely responsible for the slower demand, particularly in key markets such as Turkey and Nigeria,” said Fouad Charakla, research manager for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.
Laptop rentals now make up a significant percentage of turnover at The Notebook Company.
“More and more companies are currently turning to rentals, with some bigger companies renting hundreds of laptops for certain periods. Rentals now account for 15% of our turnover, which has wiped out the dip in the sale of laptops,” Riley said.
IDC data showed that PCs declined by 25.6%, with notebooks suffering a 28.6% drop to 1.9 million units in the Middle East and Africa region.
The weakness of the rand, which has driven up laptop prices, has contributed to softening sales.
“Right now, with the continued weakness of the rand, I do not see an upside. It is going to hurt consumers and they may cut back on buying, which will hurt the local market,” said Riley.
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