The prices of PCs, smartphones, and tablets are going up, with higher component prices to blame. Shortages in DRAM, flash, batteries and displays are hitting buyers in the wallet.
Minor relief is in sight next year when prices of memory and NAND flash — which is used in SSDs — will start to gradually decline. But prices will plummet big time in 2019, predicted Jon Erensen, research director for semiconductors at Gartner.
The impact could be felt on the prices of PCs and mobile devices. But it’s too early to predict the exact impact of the projected NAND and DRAM price crashes on PCs and mobile devices, Erensen said.
If the prices drop, it may be affordable for computer users to acquire components off the shelf and build PCs at home. But the prices of pre-made devices, in the end, depend on what PC makers do with the savings resulting from cheaper component pricing.
in 2011 with oversupply, a slowdown in PC demand, and the effects of the global economic downturn.
A wild card is China’s aggressive approach to the semiconductor market, which could lead to even more erratic price fluctuations, Erensen said. China in 2014 said it would spend $150 billion over the next decade to expand its semiconductor capacity. China-made flash and memory chips could flood markets worldwide, and pricing could plummet.
“They have a focus on the semiconductor market, and on a global [scale],” Erensen said.