Distributors Logitek, Storm and Westcoast have won the wholesale rights for Fujitsu-ICL's T-Bird PC range, breaking the manufacturer's usual open channel policy.
T-Bird is the range of budget PCs built by Fujitsu-ICL's German distribution and manufacturing company, Aquarius Robotron. Earlier this year, PC Dealer revealed T-Bird would come to the UK this month and all its accredited distributors and Vars expected to carry the machines as part of ICL's open channel policy.
But a Technology representative admitted that last month the firm bought PCs directly from its fellow ICL subsidiary Aquarius, and began selling the range at very low prices. 'We do have an OEM PC brand that we bought from Aquarius but it wasn't T-Bird,' he said.
Since the T-Bird announcement ICL's volume products division has moved to Fujitsu (PC Dealer, 13 March) and the manufacturer has restricted the number of partners it will use for the product to four, including Technology.
An ICL channel source said the move only served to confuse the reseller channel. 'This proves the open policy is debatable - there is uncertainty as they (volume products) have moved to Fujitsu.
'Now the firm has chosen two distibutor/resellers and a distributor to take it on for at least the next two months. What will happen when Fujitsu has been in control for a few months and then decides to change the rules again?' Ideal Hardware MD James Wickes, who pulled out of Fujitsu-ICL distribution, said the choice of wholesalers would provide some focus on T-Bird, but agreed that the manufacturer's policy was unclear.
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