Huge Wal-Mart PC deal to bust $500 mark

Trigem to ship 1.13 million units into US store chain

Trigem Computer is to ship 1.13 million PCs priced at $499 a pop through the US Wal-Mart chain of stores, and proposes to drop the first batch of 130,000 into the US commodity market before the end of the year. According to this morning's Korea Herald, Trigem's $560 million deal will be operated through Wal-Mart affiliate Sam's Club, and will be the largest ever single PC contract scored by a local manufacturer. Sam's Club will be supplied via eMachines, a Trigem joint venture US distribution operation with Korea Data Systems. The balance of the contract will ship in 1999, and both the low price and Wal-Mart's involvement will strike terror in the hearts of already heavily-commoditised PC 'manufacturers' (these days, we use the term advisedly). At $499 for a viable desktop the deal promises to burn-off most of the companies who've been squeezing their wares below $1,000, while a big push by Wal-Mart must mean the company has decided it can finally make money out of PCs. Wal-Mart is a highly conservative low-price operation, and its late founder Sam Walton for some years had the distinction of being the guy in the US who was still richer than Bill Gates. No more, for two reasons… ®

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