Acer has unveiled plans to use its Tablet PC products to break into the high-end corporate market with its large resellers, and hopes to double its number of reseller partners.
At its partner event in Morocco the PC vendor showed off its TM C100 Tablet PC and said it will support big corporate resellers - with turnover of #50m or more - in the run-up to the formal launch of the Tablet PC in November.
Scott Dodds, managing director of Acer UK, said: "We will use the Tablet products to give us a new role with that part of the channel. We are not going to move into a marketplace that we cannot support. The back-up will be there for things like Tablet PC."
During October Acer will put programmes in place and make Tablet products available to resellers, according to Dodds. "Customers will be asking what this stuff is and the channel has to get people to play with it," he said.
"Customers will not buy it off a spec sheet. You will want to play with it, because it is all about user experience."
Helen Slinger, product marketing manager at dabs.com, said Tablet PCs offer benefits that will make them highly desirable to the "corridor warriors". She said: "An ability to take electronic notes as easily as on paper while still enjoying the freedom to roam will appeal particularly to those in niche markets such as the health or logistics sectors. But I suspect we won't see any significant sales volumes until the second quarter of 2003."
Dodds added that the company needed to grow its channel further. "As much as critics say the channel is dying, 70 per cent of the market still wants to buy from resellers," he said.
"We absolutely need to grow the channel by a factor of two year on year; we need to double the number of people we deal with. We deal with 1,500 on a regular basis, which is a good number, but there are about 3,000 that are serious targets for us, so we are only halfway there."
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