Toshiba shakes up PC business

Toshiba’s PC customers in the Middle East should benefit from the company’s recent restructuring, according to the head of its regional computer systems division.

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By  Peter Branton Published  January 20, 2004

Toshiba’s PC customers in the Middle East should benefit from the company’s recent restructuring, claims the head of its regional computer systems division. In a much-publicised move, at the beginning of this year Toshiba made its PC and networking units a separate in-house company. They had previously been grouped in with consumer electronics and digital media products. Toshiba said the change recognised the need for a dedicated structure to handle all business aspects of its computer operations. The company hopes that the restructuring will help it make up lost ground on rivals HP and Dell. In the US and Europe in particular, intense price competition from these two companies has hit Toshiba’s notebook sales hard. In the Middle East however, the company has not been affected by the pricing competition, claimed Ahmed Khalil, Middle East regional manager for Toshiba’s computer systems division. “Toshiba has been struggling globally because of the price erosion done by HP and Dell but customers in the Middle East still value quality and benefits such as the three year warranty we offer on products,” he said. According to IDC’s most recent figures for the Middle East, Toshiba is second in notebook sales in the region. “In the year 2000 we were only sixth,” Khalil pointed out. “Our sales here are offsetting poor sales in other regions.” Middle East customers will still benefit from the increased focus within the company however, he claimed. “This creates the opportunity to further improve market share, improve our product levels, and improve our service to corporate clients and distribution partners,” he said. “It will redefine business territories and promote faster decision-making.” “Toshiba is already well-established in the Middle East as the definitive standard in mobile and wireless computing, and the new structure will enable us to build on those strengths, not only here but across our global markets,” he added. The new in-house company, Personal Computer & Network Company, came into operation at the beginning of January. Previously, Toshiba’s PC business had sat alongside consumer electronics such as DVD players, television sets and other products. “The people selling fridges are very different to the people selling wireless networking products,” said Khalil.

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