US reports of a glut of up to five months on some notebook ranges have raised fears that UK resellers will face channel blockage.
US channel sources claimed distributors have more than 42,000 Compaq and IBM Pentium notebooks in warehouses, and up to five months? supply of notebooks from Hitachi, Toshiba, Compaq and IBM.
Nigel Bussingham, a senior trader at distributor PST, said: ?We are aware of quantities of notebooks from different manufacturers sitting around in warehouses in the States. If the US market doesn?t like them, and the price is right, they?ll be dumped in the UK.?
He said the US market had rejected some models on the grounds that they lacked MMX technology, or a 13in screen.
Jonathan Chapple, chairman of Chessington-based reseller Equanet, said he had problems with Compaq after product failure issues. ?A lot of Compaq customers are defecting to other manufacturers.?
Demand for Compaq notebooks fell, according to Dataquest, after Gartner Group pub- lished a report warning users of errors within the LTE 5000 and Armada 4100 ranges. Compaq has expressed its intention to address the problems quickly.
Martin Clarke, sales and marketing director at Lapland UK, said if notebook vendors failed to shift high-end product, a re-engineering of product lines would be needed, leading to further channel blockage. ?If this happens at the same time they go direct, the UK ramifications will be major.?
But David Matthews, senior product manager for portables at Compaq, said the US figure for the deluge of five months was ?hard to believe?.
Murray McKerlie, portables business manager at Toshiba, said the vendor had a maximum UK inventory of two weeks.
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