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Watch out: Cameras, hard drives, PCs, and mobile data will all cost more in 2012.

Every day, stories appear about a price drop for this or that tech gadget.

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  1. 1. 30/01/2012 07:59 Top 5 High-Tech Gadget that Will Cost You More in 2012 zooms also saw increases during the time frame–16 percent in units shipped and 10 percent in dollars. Camera makers can see the handwriting on the wall. They’re going to be adding features and pumping up the quality of their new cameras, and you can expect all of that to translate into higher camera prices in the coming months. Hard Drives The price of storage has shown a nice, steady decline in the past, but not this year. Every day, stories appear about a price drop for this or that tech gadget. As a result, consumers have Flooding of historic proportions in Thailand last year a tendency to delay spending. After all, why buy has disrupted the hard-drive supply chain. Thailand something today that will be cheaper tomorrow? accounts for up to 45 percent of worldwide hard- drive production, and the flooding has damaged That won’t be the case for everything in 2012, more than a dozen hard-drive factories, according though. Here is a list of tech products and services to market research firm IDC. whose prices are expected to rise in the coming months. If you’re shopping for any of them, you Bargain-hunting site says that the might want to buy sooner rather than later. flooding has forced some retailers to ration hard- drive-based products over the past year–and that Smartphones, such as the Apple iPhone 4S and the has reduced the number of discounts that merchants T-Mobile MyTouch 4G Slide (which won out as the can offer on hard-drive products. DealNews predicts best smartphone camera in our tests last year), that hard-drive shortages will continue throughout are eating into the low end of the digital camera the first quarter of 2012. IDC, however, anticipates market. Numbers for the digital point-and-shoot that hard-drive prices will stabilize by June, and camera market were down 17 percent in units that the industry should return to normal by the and 18 percent in dollars for the first 11 months of second half of the year. 2011, according to the NPD Group. Desktop Computers By contrast, during the same period, digital cameras with detachable lenses saw a 12 percent increase in Two factors will contribute to higher prices for des- units shipped, and an 11 percent bump up in dollars. ktop computers in 2012. More expensive point-and-shoot cameras with large Love this PDF? Add it to your Reading List! 4 Page 1
  2. 2. 30/01/2012 07:59 Top 5 High-Tech Gadget that Will Cost You More in 2012 Climbing hard-drive announced similar plans. The result? Many consu- prices, of course, are in mers will be paying more for their mobile data this turn raising the prices year, especially heavy users. of PCs. According to high-tech market wat- Shipping cher Gartner, PC makers will be unable to absorb If you plan to buy anything on the Internet, you the higher cost of hard can expect delivery to cost more. Postal rates are drives, and will be pas- scheduled to climb 4.6 percent in 2012–provided sing that cost on to that the Postal Service is still around to raise them. consumers. IDC agrees: Reports also indicate that both Federal Express and PC prices may rise as a UPS will be jacking up their rates on small packages result of the prolonged by 4.9 percent. and substantial effects of the flooding, says Lo- Online shopping is growing in popularity (up 15 ren Loverde, IDC vice president. Hard drives consti- percent in the past year, according to ComScore). tute about 7 percent to 10 percent of the total cost If you intend to shop for gifts on the Web this year, of a PC, Loverde notes. Gartner predicts that desk- you might want to budget some extra shipping costs tops will be the first to succumb to the upward price into your budget. pressure, followed by laptops. Related Articles: Along with the hard-drive trend, design changes will fire up prices. More all-in-one desktops will enter the market, and many will have touchscreens, which are more expensive to produce than traditional hands- off displays, according to NPD, which predicts a 30 percent increase in the average price of a PC. A sign at Best Buy in a Norwalk, Connecticut store apologizes for hard drive prices.Mobile-Device Data Plans Although the rollout of faster data-delivery techno- logies usually depresses the cost of data plans for consumers, in 4G’s case that development will be offset by wireless carriers’ movement away from unlimited data plans, according to DealNews. Verizon, for instance, has been busy building out its wireless 4G LTE network over the past 12 months. Not surprisingly, earlier this summer it announced that it was killing its unlimited data plan in favor of a tiered pricing model with data caps. AT&T also Love this PDF? Add it to your Reading List! 4 Page 2