It's possible that the price of laptops will rise by as much as 30% during the next two months due to the weakness of the rand. And we could face a stock shortage as importers are becoming increasingly uncertain about which way the economy will go – and how much stock is prudent to keep.
This is according to Christopher Riley, MD of the Notebook Company, who adds: "The market is topsy-turvy everywhere and no-one knows if it will settle or dip even further. Importers are very cautious when it comes to stockholdings, and this could start causing problems during the next few months."
He says notebook sales are "definitely not robust" at the moment, adding that weak rand is playing havoc with prices.
"Distributors have cut their prices to the bone in an endeavour to make sales. But the margins are alarmingly low and could well put distributors under severe financial pressure."
He says there are "too many factors" that are pointing to a slow down in spending on consumer items, especially items like notebooks. 2009 is not going to be any better," he says.
"I think there are going to be a number of casualties in the ICT distribution market over the next year or so, due to a drop in sales and a drop in actual profit margins."