PC prices to take a plunge this holiday season

— 10:55 AM on November 2, 2006

Microsoft's decision to ship the retail version of Windows Vista after the holiday season will wreak havoc on PC prices, according to the Wall Street Journal. Despite the Vista upgrade coupon scheme now offered by many PC makers, the WSJ says "the normally healthy holiday season might look like a going-out-of-business sale." The flurry of expected price drops will be an effort by PC makers to coax customers into not waiting for Vista's January 2007 release before buying new machines.

Current Analysis, a research firm that tracks weekly PC sales, estimates that, thanks in part to Vista's delay, 70% of notebook PCs sold this holiday season will be priced at less than $1,000. That compares with just 38% of notebook PCs at less than $1,000 in 2004. "It's going to be a blowout sale," says Samir Bhavnani, research director at Current Analysis

At electronics retailer Circuit City Stores Inc., the price of 17-inch-wide notebooks is falling to less than $1,000 from about $1,300 a year ago, says Elliot Becker, vice president and merchandising manager of technology. In September, Sony Corp. started offering its N-series notebook at less than $1,000 for the first time.

The WSJ's report comes just days after research firm Goldman Sachs said it expected motherboard shipments to be significantly below expectations last month. The Gartner research group was also recently quoted by the Taipei Times as saying Vista's delayed release may cost the PC industry a staggering $4 billion in sales this year. Thanks to The Inquirer for the link.
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