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HP: Middle East PC business will not go direct

Despite the announcement of plans to move more of the new HP's PC business to an online sales model in the US, the local market will remain "very channel centric" says new PSG head.

The new HP may be planning to increase the proportion of direct PC sales in the US, but the same will not be true of the Middle East, according to Christoph Schell, the new head of HP’s Personal Systems Group. HP executives, including VP of worldwide operations Mike Winkler, in the US had stated that the company wants to beat Dell in direct sales of PC systems, causing concern among some resellers that the company would try and move more of its volume business away from the channel. This is unlikely to happen in the Middle East, however, said Schell.

“The HP model is very clear, we have a global strategy that will make use of the HP Prime model of fulfilment,” he said. “[However] In the Middle East, we have tried this in the past, and there are a couple of legal and taxation problems that make it really difficult to do here, so there is not real threat to the channel. We will be very channel centric for the next few years at least.”

Schell said that he expected the expanded product range of the new HP, which will include both Compaq EVO business desktop and notebooks, Presario consumer desktops and notebooks, Compaq iPaq and HP Pavilion consumer desktops and notebooks, would provide a much greater challenge to the competition. “The new company will be able to cover twice the shelf space. That means Toshiba, IBM, Fujitsu Siemens will not be able to cover it," Schell said.

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