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Tiny's home entertainment boxes disappoint

Hit the market a 'little early'

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Tiny Computers' foray into home entertainment PC centres hasn't been the success the company hoped for. The device was one idea intended to help Tiny stave off the ravages of the skinny-margin retail PC business.

The company has sold less than 5,000 of its Takami systems since they were launched at the Ideal Home Exhibition in March.

The systems range in price from £799 to £5,999. At the top end you get a 42-inch gas plasma TV screen, and a PC, DVD, MP3, hi-fi juke box combo. The company says this beast accounted five per cent of Takami sales - around 250 units.

According to Gartner Dataquest, Tiny shipped 60,921 PCs in Q2 2001. Assuming the same level of sales for Q3, Takamis soaked up four per cent of the business over the last six months.

Tiny MD Andrew Walwyn said the device "hasn't performed to what we wanted. We were a little bit early with the product."

The system is now being reworked and will appear as Takami 2 early next year. The box has been redesigned because it was originally built around an AMD processor, and Tiny has become an Intel-only house. The product's interface is also to be changed, making it simpler to use, and 20 families are currently testing prototypes.

Takami means 'excellent idea' in Japanese. ®

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