Agfa is claiming a coup de grace over Hewlett Packard after securing a bundling deal with Gateway, ending the incumbent's monopoly in supplying scanners to the direct PC vendor.
The digital products division of Agfa will supply Gateway with its range of scanners and its CL-30 digital cameras for sale in the UK from 22 February.
The company expects to extend the deal to the rest of Europe shortly.
Nick Mongston, sales and marketing manager at Agfa Digital Products, said: 'This is good for Agfa. HP has got a good brand, but Gateway wanted to go for a dedicated scanner manufacturer.'
Agfa revealed in November that it would develop digital products with Iomega's Click drives built in. Mongston claimed the Iomega deal had 'sealed it' with Gateway.
He denied that the deal represented a snub to Agfa's existing channel partners: 'We will supply Gateway direct in the same way we supply Dixons and other resellers direct. We will not use broadline distributors where they do not give us the service we require.'
Karl Morris, product manager at Gateway, maintained the vendor's relationship with HP would not suffer as a result of the deal with Agfa: 'We evaluate competitors' products all the time because we're about what's right for the customer, something that changes from time to time. We have signed a deal with Agfa but our relationship with HP is alive and well.'
Meanwhile, Agfa has unveiled changes in its corporate structure in preparation for flotation on the German stock exchange in the second quarter.
GATEWAY SIGNS AMD FOR GLOBAL PRODUCTION SCHEME
Gateway plans to develop systems for the international market based on processors from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and has appointed the clone chip manufacturer as its second microprocessor supplier.
The move follows the direct PC vendor's announcement earlier this month that it would ship some AMD-based machines to the Japanese market only.
Jim Booth, vice president of global materials and supply management at AMD, said: 'We made the decision to take advantage of AMD's products to add flexibility to our product line and give our clients choices.' But he would not reveal which AMD processors the company would use or when the first AMD-based PCs would ship.
Gateway's announcement is expected to boost confidence in the troubled chip maker, following its profit warning two weeks ago.
Martin Reynolds, an analyst at Dataquest, stated: 'AMD's real problem is its margins. It has to find customers that are prepared to pay more for its chips.'
He said the Gateway deal would not help AMD in this respect initially, because Gateway would most likely introduce the chips into its low-end consumer models first. But, he concluded: 'If you want to get to the high end, you have to pass through the low end first.'
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