According to DisplaySearch, LCD panel prices for monitors and notebooks has gone up a bit in the second half of February, while TV and netbook panels haven't budged.
We're not talking about skyrocketing prices here, but an adjustment of +$3, on average, in the first half of February, and another +$1 in the second half.
This could be just the beginning. DisplaySearch says panel makers are likely to increase notebook panel pricing due to component shortages and labor issues in China. Meanwhile, larger TV panel prices will continue to remain flat, says DisplaySearch, who pointed out that demand for 42- and 46-inch models is starting to level out.
Even with the rising prices, consumers aren't real likely to notice. Notebooks are cheaper than ever before and continue to come down in price overall.
While you sat at home on Sunday watching Tom Watson choke on what would have been an historic 8-foot putt in the 2009 British Open, Intel was busy slashing prices on a bunch of desktop processors, including a good many quad-core chips.
The Q9400 (2.66GHz) is now a sub-$200 part after being reduced 14 percent from $213 to $183. That meant pushing down the Q8300 (2.5GHz) from $183 to $163, an 11 percent reduction. Intel also cut prices on lower power quads, such as the Q9400S going from $277 to $245, a 12 percent reduction.
Moving away from the quads, the Core 2 Duo E7500 dropped 15 percent from $133 to $113, while Pentium desktop chips saw price cuts of up to 14 percent. One of the biggest cuts in terms of percentage came to the Celeron E1500 (2.2GHz), which was reduced 19 percent from $53 to $43.
Finally, the Xeon X3330 (2.66GHz) dropped from $219 to $188, a 14 percent reduction.
Much to the chagrin of memory makers (and delight of consumers), DRAM contract prices have remained static in the second half of June, but that's getting ready to change. Memory makers expect supply to tighten up in July as more orders continue to come in following stronger demand from PC makers.
Looking longer term, industry sources indicate contract prices for DRAM chips have started showing signs of a rebound and should continue to improve for the rest of the year. Furthermore, the price gap between branded finished memory chips and eTT (effective tested) chips is expected to widen significantly in the second half of 2009, DigiTimes reports.
If you've been putting off that memory upgrade, now might be a good time to pull the trigger.
Tough times for memory chip makers continue, but relief may soon be coming, if not for just a short period of time. According to Simon Chen, chairmen of A-Data Technology, DRAM prices have a very good chance of returning to cost levels in the third quarter of 2009, DigiTimes reports.
The comments came during the Computex Taipei trade show, in which A-Data has been showing off new memory products, including overclocked DDR3 memory kits and SSDs. However, Chen did caution that while pricing may soon go up, a full recovery isn't likely to take place until 2010. Contract pricing for June will be a telltale sign of things to come, Chen said, and DRAM chip makers would be wise to closely monitor and control their inventory.
Apple is reported to have put NAND flash supplies under considerable strain by placing an order for 100 million 8Gb NAND flash chips with Samsung Electronics.
Taiwanese website Digitimes was the first to report on the issue. Sources told Digitimes that NAND supply will remain sparse until the end of May. NAND prices are expected to continue their upward trend on the back of this huge order. This is because NAND flash chip manufacturers are not keen on increasing production.
According to Daniel Amir, an analyst with Lazard Market Capital, Apple’s gargantuan order comprises both 16Gb and 8Gb NAND flash chips. Amir believes Apple’s order for 16Gb NAND is a harbinger of 32GB iPhones being around the corner. The same analyst had reported last month that industry insiders had told him that 32GB iPhones would become available in June, 2009.
Systems builders have been living high on the hog when it comes to memory, and why shouldn't they be when considering how far RAM prices have fallen in the past year. Even builds with basics tasks in mind can be found rocking with 4GB or RAM, which at one time would have been a costly proposition.
We won't go so far as to say these good times are coming to end, but prices are heading back up it seems. According to Robert W. Baird and Company, Inc., fully tested DDR2 spot prices are up between 1 and 3 percent. NAND Flash contract pricing is up even more to the tune of 7 to 30 percent. Meanwhile, memory companies' attempts to cut back production have resulted in a 22 percent worldwide DRAM production since September.
In other memory related news, Robert W. Baird and Company says ProMOS, Elpida, and PSC must resubmit plans for DRAM bailout funds. Candidates selected to receive bailout funds aren't expected to finalized until later this month.