NEC Follows Apple Lead, Raises PC Prices; Fujitsu & IBM May Too

Where Apple goes, so goes the rest of the PC industry. USB, 802.11b (despite some claims from Michael Dell that his company was the first to support 802.11b in a portable), FireWire (IEEE 1394), industrial design (sort of), consumer movie editing software--all of these technologies and concepts are ones that Apple ran with and made popular. In the case of USB, 802.11b, and FireWire, these technologies became standards, but only after Apple adopted them. In all likelihood, the addition of Bluetooth to the Mac platform will be the next Apple success story.

This weekend it became clear that Apple was also going to be a trendsetter in another area as well, that of raising prices in its computer line. During the MACWORLD Tokyo keynote (see our blow by blow coverage), Steve Jobs announced that increases in RAM and LCD prices, both components in Appleis iMac G4 product line, was resulting in Apple having to raise the price of the iMac G4 by US$100 (see our forum discussion on this subject). On Sunday, NEC announced that it too would be raising prices on its consumer line due to, wait for it, increases in the price of RAM and LCDs. From a CBS Marketwatch report:

NEC Corp said on Monday it plans to increase the suggested retail price on its personal computers due to rising prices of parts such as DRAM chips and liquid crystal displays.

"We are in a situation where we have to jack up PC prices from the next new product line," said a spokesman for NEC, Japanis biggest supplier of personal computers, declining to say how much the increase would be.

The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported on Sunday that NECis peers Fujitsu Ltd and IBM Japan Ltd, a unit of International Business Machines Corp , also plan to raise their PC prices by 10 to 20 percent starting in April.

A Fujitsu spokesman told Reuters: "Although parts prices have been up, we have not decided whether we should raise our PC prices." No one at IBM Japan was available for comment.

You can read the full article at CBS Marketwatch.

Our friends at MacMinute have noted that Ars, Inc. issued a report saying that Dell has raised prices on RAM as an upgrade option.