Todaytech's built-to-order notebooks take on established brand names

Australian distributor Todaytech is set to turn the notebook market on its head with the introduction of its White Box built-to-order program which allows resellers to configure mobile computers to its client's specific needs.

The notebook realm has previously been dominated by branded options, but Todaytech and Intel have partnered to offer more flexibility in one of the fastest growing market segments, according to Todaytech group manager Phil Cribb.

"The traditional notebook market is a very branded market," he said. "This gives the reseller a lot more flexibility because the notebook can be built to order in much the same way as a desktop PC. Any reseller can ask for any configuration and then can either add its own brand or for smaller customers offer a branded offering."

The program offers a combination of boxed CPUs with three bare-boned units, which Todaytech sells in any configuration. The notebooks are serviced, configured and stocked locally using Intel Mobile CPUs, Fujitsu Mobile hard disk drives and Mitsubishi memory products.

Resellers stand to save 15 to 20 per cent more on margins in comparison with branded options, Cribb said. They also stand to benefit from fast time-to-market, low inventory requirements and cost, he said.

"It will be a real advantage to resellers. A lot of resellers have been hurt in the past by branded offerings because there is a very structured pricing policy. In the past, if a model was discontinued and a reseller was still holding it in stock, there was no price protection and the reseller lost money."

Resellers can hold the units in stock and add the CPU, memory and hard disk as required. Alternatively, the box can be bought pre-configured.

"Because of the fast pace at which technology is moving, we predict that in the next five years mobile computers will dominate the marketplace and eventually replace the desktop. We see more and more customers adapting their business and lifestyles to take advantage of the new innovations in Mobile Computing Technology," said Todaytech's CEO Jack Zhong.

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