Your next laptop could be significantly more expensive – here’s why


If you’re in the market for a new laptop for work (or date we say it gaming) there’s bad news for you.

This is because the White House’s trade war with China means that tariffs could soon be slapped on both notebooks and tablets, as US consumer organization CTA has pointed out (via PC Gamer).

And US president Donald Trump’s little ongoing dispute with China over trade could really hurt laptop buyers in the coming months, as prices could increase by a whopping $120 US dollars on average according to the Consumer Technology Association.

This has led a group of companies in the technology sector to release a statement, warning of the ills that await should the US president’s tariff plan go into effect.

“A price increase of that magnitude may even put laptop devices entirely out of reach for our most cost-conscious consumers. At best, these consumers would continue using older models that do not enable the latest security features. At worst, a price increase would force some consumers to go without laptops altogether”, said the companies in a statement.

These companies are spearheaded by heavyweights HP, Dell, Microsoft and Intel, who obviously have a vested interested in avoiding the proposed tariffs.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Dell are two of the top brands of laptops sold in the US, while Microsoft is also a major player in the market, having entered the top 5 last year thanks to the success of its Surface tablets and notebooks.

All these companies have a significant percentage of their devices manufactured in China (Dell has a huge manufacturing plant in Xiamen for instance), so obviously the White House’s new tariffs, leading to an increase in price of their hardware by 19 %, would be like pouring cold water on  them especially during the “peak holiday and back-to-school demand seasons” as the companies themselves have warned in their statement.

Regarding Intel, a huge percentage of laptops sold worldwide feature an Intel processor, while a significant portion of these are also manufactured in China, meaning the US technology company isn’t happy about the upcoming tariffs either.

Plus, price increases mean less laptops sold overall, and users sticking to obsolete models without up to date security could create a situation similar to that seen in 2014 when Microsoft had to beg its users to move off Windows XP in order to stave off security threats.

Nonetheless, more hurt than Microsoft or the others could be Apple. This is because virtually all of Apple’s products, from the Macbook to the iPod touch are put together in the Land of the Great Wall, while as Apple warned in a letter to the US government, its competitors wouldn’t be hurt by tariffs as much as they would.

“The Chinese producers we compete with in global markets do not have a significant presence in the US market, and so would not be impacted by U.S. tariffs. Neither would our other major non-U.S. competitors”, wrote Apple in its letter.

Thankfully, there’s not much longer to wait in order to find out what goes down with this latest round of technology tariffs. Public comments on the tariffs could be made until June 25, and if the White House did not manage to cut a deal with China these could be applied later this summer.

Thankfully, there’s light at the end of the tunnel, as a meeting between president Trump and China’s premier Xi Jinping last weekend turned out pretty well for both sides, with each side promising not to impose more tariffs on the other. Whether this also means that tariffs for notebooks and tablets will be put on hold is another matter, but here’s hoping that customers won’t have to dig deeper into their pockets when they go buy their next laptop in the coming months.

HP Flyer Red laptop (HP Inc.)