Toshiba aims for top spot

Toshiba has repeated its claim that it will overhaul HP as the region’s largest supplier of notebooks.

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By  Peter Branton Published  February 24, 2004

Toshiba has repeated its claim that it will overhaul HP as the region’s largest supplier of notebooks. While the vendor acknowledged that it has made such a claim in the past and failed to deliver, Ahmed Khalil, Middle East regional manager for Toshiba’s computer systems division, said it was confident of doing so this year. “We are realistically targeting to be number one in the Middle East by Q4,” he told journalists at a conference to discuss the company’s recent sales figures and launch four new notebook models. In some countries it is already the leading vendor, Khalil said. Using figures sourced from IDC Toshiba estimates it is ahead of HP in markets such as Kuwait and Qatar. Globally, Toshiba’s PC business has seen a well-publicised shake-up with the PC and networking business units separated from the consumer electronics group. Manuel Linnig, PR manager for Toshiba EMEA’s marketing division, said the company is going to reduce the number of configurations it offers on individual models and reduce the number of components it sources. Khalil admitted the company has suffered from supply problems which have prevented it from fulfilling some orders. “Toshiba could not supply to the market in November, December,” he said. However this would give Toshiba an especially good Q1 result he said. For 2003 Toshiba estimates it sold around a quarter of the estimated 235,000 notebooks sold in the Middle East. Revenues for these shipments amounted to almost $80 million, the company claimed. “I’ve never sold as many notebooks as I have in the past three months so whatever they say is fine,” said Christoph Schell, HP ME PSG manager. The new models launched include the high-end Tecra M2, aimed at the corporate market and the Satellite M30 series, which combines Centrino technology with a 15.4-inch widescreen display.

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