Cracking the gadget pricing code: Buy now or wait?

Is now the best time to buy a PC, tablet, camera or TV? Will prices hold steady, or are they primed to plummet? Industry experts weigh in.

By Tom Spring, PC World |  Personal Tech, gadgets, tablets

Demand for e-readers has dropped dramatically compared to last year. According to an IHS iSuppli Consumer Electronics Special Report, 2012 shipments for e-readers are 36% lower compared to 2011. As with GPS devices and point-and-shoot cameras, demand is anemic and prices are already close to the bone. So, with no new, exciting models primed to fill store shelves and replace old inventory, pricing for these fading gadget will remain flatand may even go up, say pricing experts.

Buying Advice: Suck it up and buy that aging tech gear. You aren't getting any younger either, and prices aren't budging.

Game consoles: Buy now

Holiday promotions on game consoles are currently a huge boon for bargain-hunting gamersbut take advantage of them now, because today's holidays pricing won't become permament until deep into 2013. "All of the price cuts for game consoles are for holiday only," says gaming guru Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities.

Pachter says Micrsosoft's Xbox 360 (with Kinect) and Sony's PS3 have each seen $50 cuts for their respected holiday hardware and game title bundles. Nintendo's new Wii U, he says, will remain steady in price for now, but should experience a $50 price cut by the summer of 2013.

Sadly, if you're holding out for a price cut on the PlayStation Vita, you might be waiting for a while. "I think that the Vita is going to stay expensive," Pachter says, adding, "The deals we are seeing now are about as good as it gets untill late next year."

Buying Advice: Buy now. Holiday sales will go away in a few weeks, and then you'll have to wait until mid-2013 for price drops to return.

Storage prices continue to drop

PriceGrabber says its pricing data shows a whopping 55% drop in pricing for solid state storage. "It's the steepest drop we have ever seen," says PriceGrabber's Avanesian. He says storage prices for everything from thumb drives to portable hard drives to internal SSD for PCs are following the downward pricing trend.

Price-comparison service Idealo concurs. It reports that prices of most SSD drives have fallen by 24% during 2012. Idealo also found that mechanical hard drive prices are not seeing steep declines, and prices are remaining flat. That said, Idealo points out, HDD storage is still nine times cheaper than SSD.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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