The laptop price battle in South Africa

The rand has weakened from R10.35/USD in 2014 to the current R15.15/USD, which is putting pressure on computer brands to keep equipment affordable in South Africa.

High-end laptop brand Gigabyte said it is a battle to make sure price points are agreeable with local consumers.

Gigabyte said it “invested heavily” to make sure they were linked to an exchange rate of around $14/USD, rather than R15-R16/USD.

This, said Gigabyte, means that South African consumers were not adversely affected by the volatile rand. This also allowed the company to keep machine prices stable.

New technology pricing, however, remains a challenge.

“New tech costs more, especially at launch, and this has been the greatest challenge to keep the pricing within the previous amounts,” said Gigabyte.

Gigabyte said it is near impossible for pricing not to increase with a weakening currency and the latest, more expensive technology.

“We generally see a 10% to 15% increase when compared with earlier generation technologies.”

There is an upside to the latest laptops, though. “Certain areas of performance and convenience more than doubled with our latest laptops,” said Gigabyte.

RAM capacity typically doubled, SSD speeds on the NVMe bus quadrupled, and the HDMI 2.0 bandwidth more than doubled to be able to produce 4K images at 60Hz.

So even with a 10% or 15% increase in price, the value for consumers is still there, it said.

“That has been and always will be the Gigabyte promise to its clients – value for your hard-earned buck.”

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The laptop price battle in South Africa