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Rupee DOWN, electronics going UP

Rupee DOWN, electronics going UP

Most manufacturers of electronics will hike their prices in view of the rupee’s recent downturn; price hikes expected only in July, so hurry if you’re mulling over a big purchase.

With the rupee hitting new lows this June, electronic companies, particularly those that depend on imported parts, have confirmed that their prices will increase by as much as 10% within the next two weeks. Here’s a summary of how prices will rise across different brands within the next two weeks and the brands that are holding on to their old price tags. If you’re looking to make a big purchase, our advice is either to hurry up with your decision; it could save you a few thousand rupees.

What’s going up?
Several reports in today’s newspapers have confirmed price increases by top manufacturers across product segments, particularly those dependent on imported parts. Videocon chief operating officer CM Singh, for example, told The Economic Times that electronic products that will see the steepest price rise are LED TVs (which contain 90% imported components), frost-free refrigerators (with 45% imported parts) and products imported as CBUs (completely built units) such as front-loading washing machines and inverter air-conditioners.

However, nearly all electronic products will be affected. Even the manufacturer of the Aakash tablet, Datawind, has said that the rupee decline will affect prices. Datawind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli said here that ‘We have seen a 30 per cent loss in the rupee’s value from 44 to almost 60 in the last 24 months. This gets reflected directly in price increases to the consumer, reducing affordability for the masses.’

Indian Cellular Association’s National President, Pankaj Mohindroo told PTI, ‘Brands dependent on import will have to take price increase of about 10 per cent due to decline in value of Rupee. Companies making mobile phone in India will be impacted to lesser extent but they will also have to increase price by 5 to 6 per cent.’

From the two reports, we have compiled the following list of price increases:

Company Products Hike %
Videocon LED Television 10%
LG Refrigerators, televisions, air conditioners and mobile handsets 3-5%
Bluestar Air conditioners 7.50%
Canon Printers, copiers and scanners 5%
Lenovo Laptops, mobile handsets 5-8%
Lava Mobile handsets 5-6%

What’s staying the same?
While the companies mentioned above are not waiting to raise their prices, a few others, comprising three companies with some of the most expensive smartphones on the market – Samsung, Sony and HTC – are sticking to their old price points. For this, it appears, we have only competition to thank, as per Sony India MD Kenichiro Hibi’s words in this Livemint article. If things stay as they are for much longer, however, it is difficult to see even competition holding back a price increase.

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