Confidence is high at the newly rebranded system builder IPC Multimedia, which has just announced it will offer three-year warranties as standard across all of its notebooks sold into the channel.
The company, formerly called IPC Archtec, has just bounced back into the marketplace after a successful management buy-out, promising that the extended warranty move is only the first in a series of new initiatives.
Three-year warranties are usually offered only when notebooks are sold direct to customers. The new deal applies to notebooks sold after 1 September, but IPC has said it will extend the deal to resellers that bought notebooks after 1 August but have not yet sold them on to customers.
"The feedback we were getting was telling us that while customers were actively seeking low-cost notebook offerings, they felt that the low price meant a compromised after-sales support package," said Mike Lockwood, managing director of IPC Multimedia.
"Now our channel partners not only can sell their customers a high-quality, good-value notebook solution, but they can do so in the knowledge that it will be supported for a full three years. That means less to worry about for the seller, and full peace of mind for customers."
The notebook market is still the healthiest PC sector to be in. According to recent research by Context, prices are holding steady, despite a drop in the cost of parts.
The analyst found that component costs for business notebooks have dropped by nearly 3.5 per cent, but market prices for notebooks from tier-one suppliers have dropped by only 1.6 per cent. This has resulted in a profit margin increase of about $25 per system.
Context has claimed that the reduction in costs is down to memory prices falling to their lowest levels since January, and the increased availability of LCD panels. Intel's latest round of processor price cuts have also had an effect.
"While component prices spiralled, vendors took a margin hit," said James Bates, senior analyst at Context.
"Component costs usually drop a few per cent every quarter - it's only really memory and LCD panel prices that are anomalous. The market is more stable now, and the fall in component prices should result in savings being passed on to the customer soon."
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