The worldwide squeeze on LCD monitor supplies has seen the local supply situation come to a head with the channel scrambling for supply since December.
The short supply has also seen some vendors increase prices this month. They include IBM, Dell, Samsung and Panasonic. IBM added $100 to the price of its 15-inch models. Prices on its 17-inch models rose between $50 and $150.
An IBM spokesperson said the company’s forecasting had enabled it to keep on top of demand. It even had 15-inch LCD monitors in supply.
The price rises were in response to increases from panel manufacturers, she said. However, the price on IBM’s 20-inch model had dropped by $200 to $2099, the spokesperson said.
Samsung expected supply to catch up with demand over coming weeks, according to Norman Krieke, general manager, IT, Samsung Electronics Australia.
Distributors including Ingram Micro and IT Wholesale confirmed that LCD monitor supplies were scarce.
“You can’t get 15-inch monitors anywhere and all the prices have gone up,” IT Wholesale general manager, Daryl Tucker, said.
He didn’t expect the shortage to ease before the end of February.
While IT Wholesale had bought enough stock to ride out the shortage, the price rises would slow down its desktop business, Tucker said.
“When you’re doing a rollout, an extra $100 per monitor is going to stall business,” he said.
The LCD price rises could boost CRT sales, Tucker said. A price difference of about $300 between 15-inch LCDs and 17-inch CRTs would make CRT more attractive, particularly for large rollouts.
South Australian distributor, Hi Tech, had experienced spasmodic supply and delays from most LCD vendors, according to marketing manager, David Hein. While the distributor had back orders, supply had been manageable, he said.
The past two or three months had seen the distributor juggling customer orders to try to accommodate them with available models and brands.
The shortage of 15-inch monitors had also tightened up the 17-inch market in terms of both supply and price, product manager for IT services and distribution company ASI Solutions, Craig Quinn, said.
“We certainly don’t have the flexibility we might expect to have short term,” he said. “If we wanted to roll out several hundred we weren’t expecting, we’d be in strife.
“We’re learning to live with it. It’s going to continue for quite some time, certainly through the first quarter this year.”
While the strengthening Australian dollar had cushioned against the rising price of LCD monitors, Quinn said the price differential between the 15- and 17-inch monitors had disappeared.