PC International tags kids for the latest laptop boom

PC International believes younger people will drive laptop demand.

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By  Jason Saundalkar Published  September 26, 2005

PC International sales manger Hani Salow has found the big, new market for laptops - school children. Bought by students ranging from 12-year-olds to high school kids, they're selling like hot cakes. "The schools business first step was in 2004, but it really took off last year," says Salow. "Our 2002 market share was zero. Now, we have a good position. The reason is dropping costs and our marketing," he continues, while neatly avoiding being drawn into handing out sales figures. He sends Dubai-based PC International's marketing into schools to give free training on laptop use and the students, teachers and parents do the rest, the veteran, canny salesman says, smiling. Laptop sales are doing well in Dubai, which is riding the region's oil boom and the other big market his retail firm is drilling into is professionals including engineers. With the price of laptops closing the cost difference between a desktop and a portable PC, more and more people are going for laptops due to their size and weight. "You can use one anywhere," Salow says, showing off the latest ultra-portable, which features a 14" LCD screen. Engineers on the other hand are like graphic designers and buy the big screen 18" laptops. They like the high resolution. PC International stocks a broad range of laptops offering Bluetooth support and the company is even throwing in free carrying cases. The LS50-EG6E1 - one of the models being promoted at Gitex - packs a 1.7GHz Intel Pentium M processor, 256MB of high-speed DDR RAM and a 15" LCD screen. For those that desire more performance, the LW70-PPZE1 packs in a gigabyte of RAM and a 2.13GHz CPU.

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