Peripherals too become costlier due to dollar sting.

The rupee depreciation directly translates into a higher cost for the PC manufacturers, as the industry does not work on heavy margins: Mr Rajiev Grover, Director-consumer products, personal systems group, at HP India.

Moumita Bakshi Chatterjee

New Delhi, Oct. 12 Those looking to buy PCs and laptops should prepare to fork out roughly Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000 more.

Stung by the rupee’s slump against the greenback, PC manufacturers are effecting a price hike of almost four to eight per cent across various product categories, including desktops, laptops and select peripherals.

“In today’s market, we are dealing with the variation in rupee on almost a daily basis. In the last one month or so, we have raised prices of PCs and laptops and other IT products by over four per cent,” Mr George Paul, Executive Vice-President, HCL Infosystems, said.

Imports costlier

Bulk of the components that go into a PC, including processor, hard disk drive and motherboard, are imported.

A weaker rupee starts to pinch, as vendors are forced to shell out more to import these components.

The Chairman of Zenith Computers, Mr Raj Saraf, said that his company would raise prices by about five per cent for desktops and laptops by October 15.

He added that the impact of rupee would also be felt on prices of products such as mouse, keyboard and monitors, among others.

HP hike

HP has already effected some price hike for desktops and notebooks — the last one took place in early October — raising prices by a cumulative 7 to 8 per cent to neutralise the impact of the local currency movement.

As a result, HP’s entry-level notebook that carried a price tag of roughly Rs 25,500 a month ago would now cost between Rs 27,500 and Rs 28,000.

“The rupee depreciation directly translates into a higher cost for the PC manufacturers, as the industry does not work on heavy margins. It is difficult to absorb any escalation in costs,” said Mr Rajiev Grover, Director-consumer products, personal systems group at HP India.

Repeating Price Hike

This is not the first time that vendors have hiked prices this year. In June, jolted by escalating inputs costs as a result of the rupee depreciation, major players had hiked prices between five and 12 per cent across product categories.

“The price hike will be close to seven to 10 per cent this time but one has to see the global pricing movement and whether that can offset the rupee impact,” said Mr R. Manikandan, Business Group Head, Monitors and Optical Storage Devices, LG.

The company has increased prices of optical drive (DVD writer and Blu Ray) from October 1, and is considering increasing prices of monitors.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 13, 2008)
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