The IBM PC Company acknowledged last week it had failed to forecast demand for Thinkpads and that component mistakes will cause a backlog. The company also warned dealers and customers against using second-tier vendors in an unprecedented attack against Compaq.
Mike Lunch, general manager of the PC Company in the UK, said IBM couldn't meet demand, but blamed the problem on an Mpeg part it could not source.
'We're working to get channel Ts&Cs right. Availability hasn't been good, but we're doing a big push through distribution.'
Major growth for distributors Northamber, Merisel, Frontline and Ingram was in desktops, he admitted, but claimed big wins for the IBM PC Company over Dell and Toshiba on notebooks. Those include General Accident, the British Oxygen Company, won by Simmons Magee and Canada Life which IBM took from Toshiba.
Lunch said that problems with notebook availability were down to a component shortage. 'I have backlogs beyond belief. The reason Mpeg Thinkpads are not available is because we made a mistake and didn't order enough parts,' he said.
But that problem wasn't just confined to IBM. Toshiba and Compaq had difficulties too. Lunch cautioned companies against buying products from 'second-tier vendors'. 'My advice would be not to go to a second-tier vendor,' he said.
Pauline King, Compaq UK notebook product manager, rebutted IBM's claims.
'Our products are doing very well,' she said. 'We make our own notebooks in Houston, Singapore and Irskine.' She added that Compaq had a number of manufacturing strategies.
Lunch says he is currently tweaking server Ts&Cs. Novell, he claimed, was still the dominant force in the server market. 'Novell is today and Windows NT is tomorrow,' he said.
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