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Samsung Sony Out, Now Toshiba Considers Their Consumer PC future

By David Richards | Thursday | 13/02/2014

EXCLUSIVE: The shakeout in the Australian consumer PC market continues with Toshiba Australia now considering whether they will continue to sell their PC's and TV's via mass consumer electronics retailers.

Yesterday we exclusively revealed that Samsung is set to quite the PC market with a spokesperson later confirming that the Korean Company has quite the PC market in favour of growing their share of the tablet and smartphone markets.

Last week struggling Japanese Company Sony quit the Australian PC market with the local subsidiary now working with retailers to shift existing Vaio PC stock. 

According to Toshiba management the PC Company is currently "rethinking" their consumer strategy with the real possibility that they could pull out of both the consumer PC and TV markets.
Toshiba Australia management told ChannelNews that they are looking to grow their PC business via B2B and education markets, they are also set to launch new 4K TV's into the Pro AV market where demand for "quality" display screens is set to grow as retailers, shopping mall operators look to replace early flat panel TV.s 

Also investing in B2B tablets and TV's are education departments, schools and large corporates where margins are "considerably" higher than in the consumer market where retailers are demanding bigger margins, merchandising support as well as Co-Op funding. 

Mark Whittard the CEO of Toshiba Australia told ChannelNews recently that his team had achieved "excellent" growth in the B2B market and the Company was looking to expand their range of notebooks, tablets and storage products into commercial markets. 

"The consumer market is tough, it is not growing and we are currently revaluating our product range and the markets we compete in" he said.
Whittard who spoke to ChannelNews at CES said that the Company was looking to expand their presence in the Pro Av display market which is the same market where Panasonic is looking to grow market share. 

Recently Toshiba Australia released a new 13.3" Chromebook, it comes with a Haswell Celeron 2955U processor, 2GB RAM and 16GB eMMC storage.

At CES Toshiba revealed two new notebooks with 4K displays. The two models included the Tecra W50 for the B2B market and the Satellite P50t for the consumer market. 

These PC's came with a 15.6" 3840x2160 panel - 262 PPI. The P50t is a consumer device that comes with a Blu-ray combo drive, glossy touchscreen display, and glossy keys. 

Rob Wilkinson the General Manager of Toshiba's PC business said that the consumer market for notebooks in Australia has changed. "The consumer market is difficult today, it's a volume business and if you want to be in it you have to do it right with the right products and the right pricing".

He added "Toshiba has a balanced business spanning the B2B, education and consumer markets. We have had good growth in the B2B market and we have just had a record quarter in the education market.

In revaluating our business we have to make sure that we have the right products. Right now we believe that 13" display is a good size that the market is accepting, we have a new Chromebook in this size and we are confident that it will sell". 

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