Lenovo hits back at price-gouging reports

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Lenovo hits back at price-gouging reports

Lenovo is promoting a web-special 'street price' for its new Carbon X1 ultrabook after reports emerged that the new device would cost $750 more in Australia than in the US.

The PC maker released its Carbon X1 ultrabook two weeks ago to the local market, with a full RRP of $1999 -- 60 percent more than its US RRP of $US1299 ($A1244).

Lenovo late last week released a statement saying the local version of the Carbon X1 had a 3-year warranty, compared to the US offer of a 1-year warranty.

In addition, the Australian laptop would ship with the Windows 7 Professional operating system compared to the home edition OS in the US, Lenovo said.

It said it would make the Carbon X1 available in the same configuration in Australia for a web special, or “street-price” starting from $A1589.

"The difference in street price in Australia vs the USA is because Lenovo provides its local customers with a local warranty, local delivery and local service," it said.

Lenovo did not respond to request for further comment by the time of publication today.

International pricing

The ultrabook retails on Lenovo’s UK online store from £1019 ($A1549) and in Canada for $1299 ($A1261). It is yet to launch in New Zealand.

Lenovo's director of products and solutions David Heyworth last week declined to provide details on specific issues affecting local price mark up but said channel partners were responsible for the ultimate price.

“The RRP is probably a little bit higher but the street price often differs based on what the channel partners put on it to market. It’s also built on local services, local warranty, local support,” he said.

“There’s a large geography, and warranty needs to be covered across that, as well as the employment of Australians in Australia.”

When questioned on why Lenovo’s PC rivals were able to sell products locally for a smaller mark-up, Heyworth said Lenovo didn’t compromise on value. 

“We have high standards and we wouldn’t compromise on service and support that we deliver through our partners, that’s always been important," he said.

"That’s where we see a lot of growth for Lenovo, being able to back up our products 100 percent.”

Lenovo’s announcement is timely given the current debate around alleged price discrepancies in Australia compared to overseas.

The Federal Government’s parliamentary inquiry into IT pricing has so far received 88 submissions from customers, partners and vendors, including the likes of Apple and Microsoft - the former having been granted a private closed-door hearing with politicians.

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