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Sony sets sights on mid-market

Japanese giant Sony has set its stall on the mid-market segment to drive growth at its notebook division. This week Sony launched what is set to be the first of a number of mid-range offerings targeting budget conscious consumers.

Japanese giant Sony has set its stall on the mid-market segment to drive growth at its notebook division. This week Sony launched what is set to be the first of a number of mid-range offerings targeting budget conscious consumers.

“We have cornered the high-end laptop market and so the natural progression is to look at mid-range products and strengthen that segment,” said Dharmendra Lalai, IT marketing manager at Sony Gulf. “We have previously lacked such offerings but mid-range is going to be one of the major focus areas for the coming year as we look to keep on pushing growth,”

Sony has seen a four-fold increase in laptop sales over the last year, despite only being prominent in the high-end of the market. Lalai claims that that this success is due to positioning the brand and working on a very close basis with a select elite of retailers.

“We have made sure that the channel where we make Vaio available is extremely distinguished in line with the product. All these locations are extremely carefully selected to make sure that both UAE residents and tourists get the opportunity to view and also feel our products.”

Sony will be looking to expand channels, but only through existing partners, and in line with its policy of working with power retailers that fit stringent criteria. Two partners were added to the fold last year, Dubai-based resellers Advanced Business Computers and Supply Store, and no additions are currently planned for 2005.

“We are looking at adding very few showrooms to our retail mix, but these will come through companies we already work with, such as Plug-Ins and Jumbo. The Sony brand is distinguished from other names and our channel reflects that,” concluded Lalai.

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