Two popular local stores, namely PC Configure and our personal friend Strategic Technologies, have posted regarding price increases on their PC components. With the recent issue of ASUS increasing prices due to the ending of the tariff exemption in the USA, Filipinos were worried that prices in the Philippines were going to be affected. I commented that this is not likely to happen but with the the recent Filipino dealers posting their price increases, suspicions have risen that I am wrong and that’s not the case. That said, I consulted with manufacturers and brand representatives as well as other dealers to see what’s the situation.
I’ve chatted up the owner of Strategic Technologies and he was primarily reporting based on local matters but in general, isn’t necessarily what’s in the post. Strategic Technologies has clarified the situation with us further. In our conversation its detailed that due to varying issues, prices in the current PC market landscape for PH have increased with the primary reason being supply shortage.
That said, let’s breakdown the various component segments and I’ll with you their current status and projected pricing situations. This will purely be a speculative report based on the information we’ve gathered. The aim is to dispel rumors that the US tariff exemption expiration is the reason for the price increase.
Status and Forecast
Supply has been tough for AMD prior to the release of the Ryzen 5000 and that trend continues to this day. Many dealers are forced to import AMD CPUs which forced AMD Philippines to enforce a strict warranty policy despite AMD global warranty clauses saying otherwise. That means their superior performance has not translated to brand equity so far as their CPUs have been out of stock in most fronts.
The situation in the Philippines has created a large opportunity for grey markets coming from China and other Southeast Asian regions who are receiving larger volumes from AMD. This primarily will be the deciding factor on how AMD pricing will be in the current landscape. As of now, AMD CPUs from China are fairly easy to get but SEA-sourced AMD Ryzen 5000 CPUs are now being force-bundled with Ryzen 3000 CPUs. Depending on how the importer structures their inventory, they may sell the 5000 CPUs at a premium to recover CIF expense.
Expect an increase in cost for imported AMD products due to this. Local supplies are still expected to arrive in slow trickles but will ultimately follow local pricing unless the store sells mixed inventories.
Intel CPUs are relatively unaffected but Intel prices have not bottomed-out yet and could drop further once 11th-gen rolls in. The same goes for their motherboards. Forced bundles are expected to drive up cost especially for motherboard brands that share a common distributor with AMD.
The main crux of the pricing issue is RAM and GPU prices. But this is reliant on different matters. Its been reported last year that there has been an oversupply of DRAM but this has been refuted by our sources which stated that prices have been on the rise since December. Strategic Technologies stated that, on average, RAM has increased Php1,000 per 16GB kits and Php500 for 8GB sticks. This scales as speed, capacity and desirability increases. SSDs on the other hand also sees price increases and is estimated to grow further once the current inventory of stores have depleted.
Which leads us to GPUs. AMD has been non-existing in shelves worldwide getting a pulse on their pricing is hard but is expected to increase in cost similar to how NVIDIA will scale due to the recent rise in Bitcoin prices. With Bitcoin breaking past the $33K mark and still going up, interest in mining has once again ballooned that GPU mining is now seeing a surge. Coupled with the incredibly scarce supply from NVIDIA for PH, this is expected to cause potential surges in pricing due to demand as larger markets continue to eat up global supplies as secondary markets like the Philippines have yet to find equilibrium in terms of volume from NVIDIA.
Monitors may see increases in cost as well due to panel shortage but this has yet to be seen. Power supplies are also met with component shortage. We reached out directly to the top OEMs in the PSU business and the response is that the shortage is true and is expected to go on for a couple of months. One of the companies we talked to told us that they’re company will currently absorb increased costs as long as it is feasible for them. For how long though remains to be seen.
In retrospect, with the PC market in full bloom due to the effects of the pandemic in how the industry is operating right now with the forced digitalization of business as well as the rise of gaming, the increase in demand also means that suppliers are saturated. Recent reports of semicon manufacturers not being able to meet demand is the primary cause of DRAM prices increasing as well as other components for other product segments.
We’ll monitor this recent development to reflect the situation of the industry but to forecast the market right now, Chinese New Year will see manpower in China deplete once again which will be a primary cause of concern for China-manufactured components. Ultimately, these causes will affect the global situation, not just the Philippines or the US and the component shortage will heavily affect the entire PC landscape for both the industry in general, not just the gaming segment.
We’re still awaiting response from different manufacturers to give us insights on how they’re pricing will look like in the near-future. As these companies are still in talks with their suppliers on possible compromises, we’ve withheld names of our sources until official confirmation from their respective companies have are announced either thru actual pricing updates or official statements.
We will post updates regarding this matter as it unfolds.