Faced with rising prices of key components, Sony plans to raise prices worldwide across much of its range of personal computers.
Component costs blamed again for price hikes
"There will be price increases across the board starting in Japan," said Merran Wrigley, a spokeswoman for Tokyo's Sony. "There is no definite date but it will happen in the near term. We anticipate price rises across the range of notebooks and desktops."
The Tokyo company has already raised the price of one machine. It added ¥20,000 to the price tag of an improved version of its Vaio W (pictured), currently Japan's best-selling desktop machine and attributed the majority of the rise to higher component prices.
Sony's decision comes two weeks after Steve Jobs, Apple's chief, announced the company was raising prices on its hot new iMac computer by around £80 for the same reason.
With the component cost rises, Apple was faced with a problem that is now at the door of all major PC makers.
"Every manufacturer is going to have to do one of two things," Jobs said. "Either remove features from their product or slightly raise the prices of their products. We think the configuration of the new iMacs are great ... so we have decided to do price adjustments."
In addition to Sony, some of Apple's other competitors are also taking the same path. Tokyo's NEC says price rises are on the way but will be factored into new products rather than added onto prices of current machines.
"There will be no price rise on the existing product line-up but NEC is planning a rise on our new line, which is expected to come out in the summer," said Susumu Sakamoto, a company spokesman.
Since PCs are made of many commodity products and fierce competition exists in most sectors of the market, exact forecasting is difficult even for PC makers.