RAM prices have finally rebounded sharply over the last week but industry insiders say buyers shouldn't be in a mad rush to stockpile SIMMs.
Some OEMs who buy from memory brokers say that prices for 16Mb and 32Mb memory chips have risen as much as 20 per cent in last four days. 32Mb SIMMs rose from $180 to $230 on the daily 'spot' market.
After unprecedented falls in RAM prices, the RAM buying community were waiting for the bounce-back. "We've known for a while that those products were getting shorter in supply so it wasn't that much of a surprise," said Mark Leathem, sales and marketing director for Kingston Technology, a memory card maker. "We expect there to be more rises for 4Mb and 8Mb as more people are buying those now because they currently work out cheaper than 16Mb. That aside, there should be a plateau now until Christmas. The big factor X is how strong the uptake is for Windows NT 4.0, and how strong retail sales of Windows 95 are in Christmas PCs."
Andrew Mackenzie, director of the memory division at UK distributor Datrontech , agrees that prices won't continue to rise at the same rate, but expects a significant increase nonetheless. "We've certainly seen a significant increase in demand from OEMs and we suspect that the big guys have upped demand in expectation of a good Christmas. We think there'll be a continuous rise of 2-3 per cent per week going on to Christmas, but don't bet on it."
Both Kingston's Leathem and Datrontech's Mackenzie have the same advice for buyers getting the jitters: don't panic and buy according to need.