Palm turns to ITE Distribution for Middle East and Africa

Mobile computing vendor Palm has confirmed ITE Distribution as its exclusive master distributor for the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region. The move comes following a decision from Palm to end its policy of having a company representative in the region.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  May 20, 2006

Mobile computing vendor Palm has confirmed ITE Distribution as its exclusive master distributor for the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region. The move comes following a decision from Palm to end its policy of having a company representative in the region. Stuart Maughan, formerly branch manager for Palm’s operations in MEA has now left the company. ITE has now become the sole distributor for Palm Treo smartphones and PDAs across MEA. As part of its new expanded role, ITE will not only hold responsibility for building a channel-to-market for the vendor’s products but will also deliver a range of services including sales and marketing support for resellers. Longer term, ITE will also play an active role in the customer support and certification of products in the region. Tim Mahne, Palm Europe’s head of master distribution, said: “ITE have demonstrated their technical expertise in taking on the Palm portfolio and have a great reputation in supporting their existing customer base as well as extending the width of customers potentially stocking our products.” “With their passion for the products and brand combined with their sales resource right across the region we now have a partner who can develop our business and Brand values in an appropriate way for the Middle East and Africa,” he added. J.H. Jafery, managing director at ITE, said: “The Palm Treo smartphone has proven itself as a superior product, and we are delighted to be working with such a strong name in the smartphone space.” “What made the alliance even more appealing was the fact that, over time, there will be a second operating system available on the Treo platform in the Middle East and our other distribution territories. Joining the Palm OS will be Windows Mobile, providing us with the ability to target different market segments,” he continued. ITE has carved out a strong reputation in the UAE and surrounding GCC countries as a focused retail distributor capable of providing a range of value-added services to its customer base. To truly take on the role of master distributor for Palm across MEA, ITE will need to balance its own retail distribution expertise and activities alongside the need to recruit in-country sub-distribution partners to ensure adequate channel breadth for the vendor. ITE became a regional distributor for Palm in the summer of 2005. ITE’s brief had been to focus on building up Palm’s channel and retail presence in strategic markets including the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

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