Toshiba dealers have been scrambling for product, as resellers struggle to cope with shortages right through the channel with reports of larger dealers stockpiling kit.
The company has admitted it cannot keep up with the booming demand for its notebooks. Toshiba conceded that its recent product forecasts have underestimated demand in the channel, with the result that new product is going straight out to fill existing orders.
'It varies from product to product,' said PC marketing manager Andy Bass. 'But we are having to ship against back orders rather than for stock.' He said the problem was likely to last for at least a couple of months.
'The trouble is that dealers just cannot get kit,' said Fraser Associates chairman Harry Thuillier . Larger dealers are holding on to what they can. I have never seen demand like it.' The shortages came to light as Toshiba showedoff its new Tecra 710CDT and 720CDT high-end notebooks at Cebit. Both use the Pentium 133MHz chip and have a TFT screen.
Toshiba stockpiles have been completely depleted. Bass denied there was a priority scheme for larger dealers, but said that long-standing Toshiba customers with outstanding orders would be the first to be supplied. Medium-sized dealers that try to hold stock will be most affected by the product shortage, which has been caused by the massive demand.
Bass said the order book was up 60 per cent year on year, and that figures from analysts seemed to understate Toshiba's market share. The most recent figures from Romtec for December give Toshiba 43.8 per cent of the indirect notebook market.
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