Sony who are trying to sell a new range of netbooks that are 60% dearer than the same Sony netbook in the USA has resorted to using kiosks in shopping centres in partnership with Harvey Norman to promote their offering to consumers.
Sony’s move to capture a bigger share of the consumer market comes as competition at a retail level heats up due to market growth this year according to GFK data of over 40% for notebooks and over 60% growth for netbooks.
The problem that Sony have is that is that their notebooks and netbooks are not taken seriously by business users or corporations and government departments; as a result Sony is restricted to competing in the highly competitive retail consumer marketplace, where the likes of Toshiba, HP, Compaq and Dell dominate. Then there is brands like ASUS and Acer who have excellent low cost netbook offerings, Said a leading industry analyst who use to work for IDC.
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Aimed at the consumer market Sony is now trying to lure Facebook users to their new VAIO netbook offering according to Sony Managing Director Carl Rose.
He said “The use of social networking sites is going from strength to strength in Australia, and were looking for consumers who want convenience and mobility to get online and check their Facebook page, update their Twitter or view the latest videos on YouTube.”
His comments come only a few days after Bill Gates the former CEO of Microsoft slammed Facebook claiming that he had shut his Facebook page down and that social networking was a “waste of time”.
Sony’s original 8″ netbook the V25 will set you back over $2,000. The new W netbook which was exclusively revealed by SmartHouse and ChannelNews, is priced in Australia at $999. The US price is $500 or A$625 which makes it up to 60% dearer than the same Sony models in the USA.
The new VAIO W series comes loaded with Windows XP, and only one gigabyte or less, of ram. This is not enough to run Microsoft’s new Windows 7 operating system which is due out in a few weeks say tech experts.
IDC Australia’s Felipe Rego was quoted in the Sony press release as claiming that that the market for portable PCs would grow by 15 percent this year.
Sony and Harvey Norman have named their standalone kiosks “VAIO Villages”. The one located in the Bondi Westfield shopping centre is close to a JB Hi Fi store.
Harvey Norman chairman, Gerry Harvey, said “It’s the right time for Harvey Norman to partner with Sony to capitalise on this growth,” Norman said.