The local ICT distribution market might find the early part of 2012 tough going as the affects of the Rand devaluing by 25% since last October – and the meteoric rise of hard disk prices – continue to have an affect on local distributors.
This is according to Mahomed Cassim, CEO of Esquire, the award-winning ICT distributor of digital lifestyle products, who said one of the main reasons for the increase in hard disk prices was the flood which ravaged Thailand late last year. World Bank estimates claim the floods to be the world’s fourth costliest natural disaster, with the flood also resulting in the loss of 800 lives – and the shutting down of thousands of factories for several weeks due to facilities being under water.
Cassim said the price of hard disk prices had escalated, at times, by almost 200% since late last year, which is having a “marked affect” on the sales of desktop PCs and notebooks as resellers and end users remain unwilling to pay the current price.
He said end users are increasingly intent on extending the life of ‘old’ desktop PC or notebooks by upgrading memory and other features and refreshing software to give their systems a new lease of life for a little while longer “until they see a drop in pricing before making a purchase”.
According to technology publication, TECHSPOT, drive prices went through the roof around the end of October as production became more expensive – and far more limited. The first noticeable increase in prices came at the end of October. Pricing reached its zenith in the first week of November, with price increases in the 80-190% range for desktop drives and 80-150% for mobile units.
Cassim said that although the marketplace is starting to see price reductions across the board, disk drives are still about 60-90% more expensive than they were before the flooding
Commenting further, he said that Esquire occupies a “fairly unique” position in the local ICT distribution market, saying that the company will be increasing its focus on digital lifestyle products which are aimed at the mass market – including items such as Tablet PCs, media players and home entertainment multimedia products.
He said social media and social networking is coming to the fore in modern life and the company aims to offer the marketplace the technology it requires. “Technology is being used increasingly for entertainment and social interaction and this is one of the role’s we fulfill in the marketplace – we provide this type of technology. Developments are rapid with companies trying to keep pace with consumer demand. Facebook , arguably the leading social media web-site, is so popular that Mercedes Benz will be launching a sewn-off version of an in-car version of Facebook in its MY13SL-Class range during 2013.”
Earlier this month Esquire won the Africa Distributor Award at the EMEA Channel Academy 2012 Awards. The awards were attended by over 1000 vendors, distributors, retailers and e-tailers from the entire Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions, and took place at the Gala Dinner in the Salle des Etoiles in Monaco on Thursday 9th February,2012.
The EMEA Channel Academy is the successful initiative of DISTREE EMEA which is the largest annual gathering of senior executives from 130 vendors, volume distributors, retailers and e-tailers working in Europe, Middle East & Africa’s (EMEA’s) Information Communications Technologies (ICT) and Consumer Electronics (CE) channel from over 70 countries within the region.