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Computer prices are rising

Computer shoppers, we have bad news: PCs cost 6 percent more than they did in 2009. Worse, prices may continue to rise. According to a report by NPD, the average retail price of a PC in the United States was $615, up from $580 in 2009, though 2009 represented a record low for prices. Customers may not be happy, but the rise is a sigh of relief for PC makers. Until this year, intense competition has driven consumers to purchase cheaper and cheaper personal computers. Prices have dropped consistently for  some time.

The upturn in average price is partially due to people purchasing high-end PCs and a stabilization of laptop prices, which dominate sales. With tablets beginning to hit the market, the PC may regain the luxury item standing it once had.

“People recognize that if they want a level of performance and graphics they probably aren’t going to get that for $299,” said Wayne Surdam, an HP vice president, to WSJ. “We’re creating a willingness for our customers to pay a bit more.” Apple may also have something to do with the change. It’s Macintosh market share has risen to 10.4 percent, a high for the brand. The average Mac is priced at $1,360.

Other electronics haven’t been as lucky as PCs. Blu-ray player prices have dropped 21 percent this year. HDTVs have also fallen 9 percent. Still, despite the up tick in prices, sales are high. PCs are expected to show growth of 14 or so percent in 2010.