“Buy British” is the message from nostalgic PC brand Acorn, which re-emerged in the UK market last week.
The company, which became famous in the 1980s as the prominent brand for the education sector, has unveiled a range of four laptops, aimed at the SME, education, retail and large corporate sectors.
Shahid Sultan, UK operations director at Acorn, told CRN: “All of our call centres will be UK based. In a market where there is so much Far Eastern competition, we want to sell hardware with a British touch.”
Sultan said the vendor intends to sell only through the channel, and is currently on a partner recruitment drive. He declined to specify an exact number of resellers, but said it would be more likely to be in the hundreds, not the thousands.
“We are also looking to sign one or two distribution partners, and are in discussions at the moment,” he said.
David Pye, manager of Centerprise’s distribution arm, said: “Hats off to Acorn, but how will it compete with super brands such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard? In the education market budgets are tight, and as much as firms might want to buy an Acorn computer, the Dell pricing is very tempting.”
Shaun Parsons, managing director of Computer World Wales, agreed.
“It is a very tough market to get into, although there may be some apathy out there for the brand,” he said. “If Acorn signs the big retailers and online resellers, that could really help to give it a decent market presence.”
Sultan claimed the vendor has already received a good reponse to its launch from resellers.
“Our main priority is to sell reliable solutions, with an emphasis on customer and reseller support,” he said. “We will launch in Europe next year, after we have built up a UK presence. We already have a great reputation; Acorn held your hand as you were growing up.”
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