A number of computer manufacturers are increasing the prices of their computers following a move made by Apple two weeks ago.

Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs explained that the increase was due to an industry-wide backdrop of rising component prices.

Sony is raising PC prices worldwide for the same reasons. Sony spokeswoman Merran Wrigley said: “There will be price increases across the board starting in Japan. There is no definite date, but it will happen in the near-term. We anticipate price rises across the range of notebook and desktop models.”

Sony has already raised the price of one machine, adding $150 to the price tag of an improved version of its Vaio W – Japan's best-selling desktop machine.

During his keynote address at Macworld Expo, Tokyo, Jobs said: “Since we introduced the new iMac in January, component prices have been increasing dramatically.

“The price for our flat-screen has gone up 25 per cent in the last few months. The price for memory has gone up 200 per cent since we introduced the new iMacs – it has tripled in cost. And this is an industry-wide problem; it isn’t just Apple.”

Companies showing caution In addition to Sony, some of Apple’s other competitors are taking the same path. NEC says price rises are on the way, but will be factored into new products rather than added onto prices of current machines.

Susumu Sakamoto, an NEC company spokesman, said: “There will be no price-rise on the existing product line-up – but NEC is planning a rise on our new line, which is expected to come out in the summer.

“It’s difficult to say how much the prices are going up, but it’s likely to be between 25,000 and 30,000 yen (£130-£160)."

Other companies are cautiously watching the components market. Among them areFujitsu, Gateway, and Compaq.