Toshiba stalls launch in home PC market

Toshiba’s plans to launch into the UK consumer personal computer market have been put on hold, according to sources in the company.

Toshiba is believed to have decided that margins for both the retailers and manufacturers in the UK market are very tight, making things difficult for a new entrant.

The company has already launched the consumer PC, called Infinia, in the US market. It plans its first launch of the business machine, called Equim, in the US on March 10. It had hoped to launch both machines globally.

Since similar conditions apply across Europe, it is understood that Toshiba’s European operations will be left to make their own decisions on whether to take both the business and consumer machines, but it is likely they will just take the business computers.

One company source says: “It will be difficult to make money in this market. The feeling is we will not go with the consumer machines this year. And that will mean a low-key launch for the desktop in the UK.”

A company spokesman says: “Our plans are still being finalised and nothing has been set yet.”

Toshiba has a 42 per cent share by volume of the world portable computer market, according to Dataquest.

The move into the larger desktop market aims to make Toshiba a bigger player in the IT industry. As one company executive says: “The rule of thumb for this industry is to get big or get out.”

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