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End of the line for Apricot UK

Mitsubishi cans PC sales and development

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Mitsubishi will stop making and designing PCs in the UK from June, resulting in an extra 200 job losses. The Japanese manufacturer said yesterday it would stop the PC hardware design and manufacturing business of Apricot Computers, a division of Mitsubishi Electric PC. In a letter to resellers from the president of Mitsubishi Electric PC Division, Dr Peter Home, the company blamed poor margins. It stated: "As an active reseller within the UK market you will know only too well how difficult it has become to maintain acceptable margins on hardware alone, and despite some notable successes in recent years we cannot ignore the financial pressures that have been mounting. In simple terms, the economies of the situation make it a necessary step." Peter Crane, marketing manager at reseller PSM Micro Computers, said: "It is very sad to see them go. We found them a very professional company. It marks the end of an era – the last UK player who was present in the early days of the PC." The Mitsubishi statement went on to say that making profit on hardware was now the sole preserve of either the biggest or specialist niche organisations. A separate statement issued by the company said the Glenrothes, Scotland factory would be sold or closed by the end of June. The Birmingham-based R&D, PC sales and marketing operations would also be shut by the same date. This will result in 200 jobs lost, in addition to the 200 announced in January. Mitsubishi said it would concentrate it efforts on the Internet and software integration. The company said it would continue its support services "for the foreseeable future." Reseller issues such as technical support, warranty and spares would be addressed "as a matter of priority." It does not affect Mitsubishi Electric’s PC customers in Japan, who will continue to be provided with PCs and servers under the Apricot brand name. ®

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