Compaq has cut prices of its Armada 4100 by 20 per cent in the US but has no plans to make similar reductions here. Nor, like IBM, will it introduce a high end Intel P133 12-inch notebook using Intel MMX technology here yet, although that means competitors Gateway 2000, IBM and Digital will steal a march on it by launching MMX notebook machines tomorrow.
The price cuts, said a spokesperson at Compaq, will not apply here but she admitted that meant that users could fly to the US and import goods legally, undercutting prices in Europe. Price cuts in the Compaq Armada range include a drop in the price of a 4120 from $3,199 to $2,599 while the 4130T model falls from $4,599 to $3,999.
The company will not give an official reason for its failure to produce a high end MMX notebook. Its major competitor, IBM, is likely to introduce an MMX machine at the large Intel-organised press conference tomorrow.
This means Compaq will be beaten to the post by the introduction tomorrow of MMX machines from Gateway and Digital. The Gateway Solo 2200 range will come with a choice of power-saving P120 and P133 processors, include a 12.1-inch thin film transistor (TFT) screen, an 8X CD-Rom and 16Mbytes of memory. Prices will start at the UK equivalent of $3,200 and go up to $4,300.
Digital has also taken the MMX route for its notebook in the Hinote VP500 series. Although there are likely to be shortages of MMX chips from Intel for several months, Digital has promised to deliver machines within 30 days.
An IBM spokesperson said that although it ?is looking? at introducing MMX technology in its notebooks, machines are still some way off. He said: ?We will implement MMX technology in all of our ranges and the first product to appear, which we will show tomorrow, will be a machine in the Aptiva Stealth range.? That machine falls fairly and squarely in IBM?s consumer range. IBM will react to any cuts Compaq makes on notebook prices in the UK as and when they are implemented.
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