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A bitter battle has broken out in the consumer notebook market with vendors slashing notebooks to sub $500. Some have resorted to offering $400 rebates knowing that less than 30% of consumers actually collect them.

Mark Whittard the General Manager of Toshiba Australia has said that consumers are gravitating to mainstream stores like OfficeWorks, JB Hi Fi, Harvey Norman to buy their cheap notebooks as opposed to supermarkets or BIG W stores. “Supermarkets and big discount stores want to sell the notebooks but are not structured to handle consumer service if anything goes wrong. We are now seeing really stripped down notebooks running Linux and Celeron chips going on sale. These are now starting to compete with a new generation of ultra mobile PC.” He said.

He added “Several brands are now using rebates in an effort to win over consumers as they know that less than 30% of people who buy a rebated notebook actually collect their rebate cash. The discount battle is not however affecting the premium end of the market. It is growing the volume for notebooks and those consumers who are buying for a business and writing their purchase off on their tax are moving into premium products” he said.

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