I wonder when the next round of price drops will come on Japanese gear? The big Japanese players such as Yaesu, Icom and Kenwood have had an easy ride of late and been able to dictate prices. Now the competition is waking up, I expect they will be facing tougher times.
The latest exchange rates (UK pound to Japanese Yen) is £1 is worth about 193 Yen. Not many years ago it was less than 130 Yen to the pound. In real terms, Japanese goods should be much less expensive. At the moment both the UK dealers and Japanese are doing very well thank you from a customer base prepared to pay high prices. Expect big falls between now and the year end. This will be partly due exchange rates becoming much better (for those in the UK) and partly due to the increasing threat from the non-Japanese suppliers. Don't you find it amazing how low cost some Chinese hand portables are compared with similar products from Japan? Rip-off come to mind - charge high prices for Japanese goods as long as the suckers pay.
No, the age of UK amateur radio consumers being taken for a ride is ending. The next time you discuss prices with UK dealers remind them of competition and exchange rates! At the moment their margins must be very high. Japanese goods are priced too high in the UK - fact. A few years ago I was more sympathetic, but not any more. UK consumers should pay a fair price with the dealers getting a fair margin, but please don't take us all for mugs. I shall buy when the prices are fair and not before.
If I have this wrong, I shall be interested to hear the dealers viewpoint. Exchange rates have got vastly better and I do not see this reflected in end user prices here in the UK. Someone is making very handsome profits.
Consumers - vote with your wallets and do not buy overpriced radios. I have said before, the FT817 is classic example: all development costs were recovered years ago, so the price should be considerably lower than it is. Dealers have dropped the price somewhat, but it is nowhere near what it should be for a very mature design.