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Toshiba sets its sights on system builders’ business

New range of SME PCs will be co-branded with resellers

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A range of white box PCs due to be launched early next month, will see Toshiba competing directly with SME-friendly system builders. The move, planned only for the US at present, will target the SME market, which is currently largely supplied by smaller, independent system builders. This is a change of tack for Toshiba, which has previously set its sights on playing in the same markets as PC giants like Compaq and Dell. The Toshiba Equium 3200 is a line of build to order mini-tower PCs, designed to fit underneath a desk, with only the monitor visible on top. They will be co-branded with resellers, who can set their own prices as Toshiba will not publish a list of recommended pricing. The 3200 adds to Toshiba's current Equium 7100 PCs, aimed at the corporate market in the US and UK. In the UK, there is also the 3000 range, launched in October, which targets the SME market. Colin White, Toshiba UK desktop product manager, told The Register that the Toshiba UK office would be watching the scheme very carefully to see how successful it was. "There are no plans to co-brand PCs in the UK at the moment. But that is not to say it will not happen," he said. The line will be launched in the US on 7 June. The same range will be launched over here mid-June, but not with the same build to order initiative, stressed White. "This is one of the worst industries to be in. You can't please everyone all the time. Yes, this will put us in direct competition with some system builders, but it is a case of survival," he said. ®

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