PC maker Time today warned of potential price increases on its home computers in what could mark yet another blow for the struggling home PC market.

The company today issued a warning that, due to yet another rise in the price of a certain kind of PC memory chips (DRAM — dynamic random access memory), prices on its 512MB systems could be marked up by as much as £100 by the end of January.

"There is never a good time to announce price rises," admitted Time spokesman Colin Middlesmiss. "However we hope, by announcing our intention early, customers who are currently in the market for a PC can take advantage of the low prices and great deals currently available at Time." All a bit smug, but hype that has a ring of truth.

Hynix, the third largest memory chip maker, yesterday announced a 30 percent increase in the price of its memory chips.

"Despite the downturn, sales of PCs are starting to rise across the world, with China seeing a definite upturn. Windows XP has been credited for that rise, and demand for chips is also growing," said a spokesman at Hynix.

The world's biggest memory chip maker, Samsung, said it is "currently evaluating prices" with increases tipped to be around 25 percent by the end of January.

Both companies raised contract prices for DRAM chips twice last year due to escalating demand from PC manufacturers.

As yet no other PC firms have announced price hikes, but if the cost of DRAM chips does continue to rocket it's likely they will within the next few months.