Hewlett-Packard has upped the competition in the sub-$1,000 PC market with the US launch of an Intel-based multimedia PC, retailing for around $799.
HP's Pavilion 3260 has a 200MHz Pentium MMX processor, 32Mbytes of Ram and a 2.1Gbytes hard drive and has set a new price point for an Intel-based system from a major vendor. Although the price does not include a monitor James Stateman, an analyst with market researchers Dataquest, said other major consumer vendors, such as Compaq, Packard Bell and IBM, will be forced to follow HP's lead.
But Martin Hurrren, HP's Pavilion PC UK marketing manager, said the company has no plans to market the machine in the UK. ?We build our products according to individual country home needs, which means they are very different. The 3260 in the US has no relevance on the UK product now or in the future,? he said.
According to Chris Jones, a UK analyst at Dataquest, lower home penetration of PCs here compared to the US - where it is 20 per cent - means that the major vendors are less likely to invest in the low cost commercial sector in the UK.
A recent survey placed Dell as the leading supplier in the low cost US home market but the company is less eager to sink money into this sector in the UK. Annette Condon, the company?s UK product manager, said: ?The bulk of our sales are still in the mid-end of the market, around #1,400 to #1,800. We are keen to target the experienced consumer and confident PC users.?
According to Chris Jones, domination of the low cost consumer market in the UK is dependent on a company's presence in a select number of high street shops. ?Packard Bell has a very strong presence in the Dixons Group and consequently is the market leader at the moment.?
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