Toshiba has slashed its notebook pricing in the US to below $1,000 (#595) but the price cuts will not be repeated in the UK.
In the US, the Libretto 50TC mini-notebook will be priced at $999 (#594), falling from $1,200 (#714), with a 772Mb hard drive and a 75MHz Pentium processor. Meanwhile, the standard Satellite Pro notebook, including 12.1in active matrix display and 133MHz Pentium, will be shipping from $1,699 (#1,011).
However, in the UK, prices will not drop to such low levels as that would infringe on the PDA marketplace, claimed Alistar Harvey, notebook product marketing manager with Toshiba in the UK.
Analyst Jamie Snowden, of research firm Input, argued that the US price cuts will tempt UK users abroad. "If Toshiba can produce (notebooks) for that kind of money in the US, then people can go to there and buy them," he claimed.
Harvey countered that users would then get a product based on the US BIOS and resellers attempting the same tactic would have to pay for adapting the machine to European standards.
Toshiba will announce new UK notebook pricing in about six weeks, after the arrival of the Pentium II notebooks which Toshiba will launch later this month.
Snowden expressed surprise that US pricing has dropped so low, and predicted that other vendors, such as Dell, IBM and Compaq, would be forced to follow suit. "The market for notebooks is hotting up in terms of pricing and the other vendors will act a bit like lemmings on the back of the market leaders," he said.
This would threaten the position of less well known brands, such as AST, which has dropped out of the desktop market to concentrate on notebooks, said Snowden.
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