Consumers who are looking to get their hands on new tech in the next few months should prepare themselves for a price shock, thanks to the much weaker rand.
This is according to Werner Joubert, national channel manager at Asus SA, speaking to CNBC Africa on Monday.
Joubert noted that the rand has depreciated by about 25% in 2018 so far, pushing up tech prices as much as 20% (as seen in follow through to consumers and in revenues from vendors). However, the tough times are just starting, with the Asus exec saying that most vendors will likely push up prices in the coming quarters.
“The pricing is definitely going up. You’re going to see products shifting price points – previously, in the mid-market, you would have say R8,000 to spend on a certain type of product. Now for that R8,000 you’re going to get an inferior product,” Joubert said.
Once the new price points kick in, Joubert also expects that consumers will start holding onto their current tech products a bit longer.
In terms of price ranges, Joubert said that technologies that are in the R3,000 range will likely see a R500 to R1,000 increase. In the more high-performance segment (high-spec notebooks, etc) around R10,000, the price increases will be between R2,000 and R3,000.
“It’s definitely a shifting price category,” Joubert said.
For companies, the blow will most likely be felt hardest by small and medium enterprises, he said, because big companies will simply extend the usage of their products. Smaller businesses, however, may find themselves in a trickier position.
“What is going to happen is consumers and companies are just going to ‘buy down’ – where they would have had the money to buy a Core i7, they will now go for a Core i5. While it may be just as good, the longevity of the product may not be as long as the pricier option,” Joubert said.