No artificial hike in gadget prices, says Pikom

PETALING JAYA: Despite complaints of price hikes in IT hardware recently, the National Tech Association of Malaysia (Pikom) claimed it has not seen a marked increase in prices across the board.

The association, which represents 249 retailers and 113 distributors, said any recent increase or decrease in prices are part of the normal product lifecycle and not linked to the pandemic.

However, items that are in short supply may see a marginal increase in prices, it added.

“Tech products have always been in demand, even before the pandemic. There will always be product promotions happening every now and then to ensure continuous demand, ” said its chairman Danny Lee.

He said there was a shortage of popular brands due to strong market demand, which was worsened by the import freeze during the first movement control order last year.

However, he added that local suppliers had taken proactive steps to improve their supply chains since the government reopened international trade.

“Laptops and tablets along with high-speed Internet services have been in demand since the work from home (WFH) ruling and online learning started last year, ” he said.

“We will see this trend continue as WFH and online learning will be part of the new normal, ” he said.

Pikom said that demand had also gone up for second-hand devices equipped with basic Internet services and productivity tools for online learning.

Lee said retailers and online stores conduct clearance sales of old stock whenever new batches of products arrive, usually through end-of-season sales or during festive periods.

This meant users could still get affordable devices if they were willing to get previous generation models.

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