Channel-dependant hardware vendor Toshiba has regained its lead in Australian notebook sales, with IDC figures placing its Information Systems Division at 21.6 percent market share last quarter.
Ralph Stadus, managing director at Toshiba Australia, said this quarter's results were due to previous quarterly leader HP losing ground rather than Toshiba doing anything differently.
'I think it's just that HP had artificially gained the lead the previous quarter,' he said.
He said he believed Toshiba Australia's 100 percent channel focus helped drive its notebook success generally.
IDC figures show that Toshiba sold 32,526 notebooks – or 21.6 percent – in the third quarter of 2003.
Resellers were sick of vendors that constantly 'turned around and competed with them', he said. 'We try to look after the channel and do it in a more even way,' he said.
The company also netted 35.3 percent of Australian notebook sales in the small business space and kept ahead of the pack in the corporate space by retaining a 24.3 percent stake, IDC figures suggested.
Stadus said Toshiba's focus on notebooks in particular also contributed to its success. A tighter focus helped create a stronger brand, and stronger sub-categories within that brand, he said.
'We focus on [notebooks] and just that. So we have a really good understanding of the notebook market and we have a broad range of products tailored to lots of different segments –- business, retail, and corporate boxes for big system integrators, [for example],' he added.
Stadus said he did not foresee any major changes to Toshiba's channel structure. 'We have just come out of a re-organisation,' he said. The company has 30 direct 'Platinum' partners in Australia and about 2,000 indirect partners.
Stadus said he had considered cutting the number of indirect partners but the distributors involved had talked him out of it.
'I personally think there's too many smaller resellers in this country, but I put that to the distributors and they have convinced me not to do anything about it,' he said.
Stadus foresaw another year of mergers and acquisitions across the channel in 2004. However, sales-wise, next year could be even better than this year as mobile computing took a stronger hold.
Mobility and wireless in 2004 should provide better revenue opportunities for resellers, particularly in relation to add-ons for wireless networking and associated services, he said.
'We think we'll have a big year in 2004. There's the trend towards mobile computing as definitely one thing,' Stadus said.
Toshiba would refresh and extend various parts of its ranges, including the 'light and thin' Portege range. Also, PCs with integrated audio-visual functionality and Toshiba tablet PCs sales were expected to ramp up, Stadus said.
Issue: 315 | May 2013
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