Samsung Electronics (UK) has launched a £1.5m advertising campaign which it hopes will help it break into the top five notebook manufacturers in the UK by 2003.
The campaign is built around Samsung's new GT9000 series, which is targeted at the corporate and business market. The company is running outdoor advertising across the UK, and is offering interested businesses a free one-week trial.
Resellers SCC Direct, ICL, Digi UK and Answer SGI are in the first phase of participation with the company, which is planning to roll the programme out to smaller resellers if it is successful.
A Samsung spokesperson said that, if smaller resellers become involved in the evaluation programme, the products will be sent out directly to interested customers by Samsung but any sales and support will be carried out by the reseller.
Figures from IDC show Dell, Toshiba, Acer, Sony and IBM as the UK top five with Samsung not currently on the scale and not even classed as a major.
"Samsung is not in our top 10 and we currently categorise it as a white box manufacturer. But with the right channels in place it has a very good chance," said Andy Brown, an analyst at IDC.
"If it's market share they are after it could be the wrong time because at the moment a lot of IT projects are on hold and notebooks are the first things to be affected by this," he added.
Peter Lunn, product marketing manager for notebooks at Samsung, said: "We are working with these large resellers initially to broaden the knowledge of our offering, grow our customer base and build recognition of Samsung as a notebook manufacturer."
Lunn explained that the company had not noticed a slowdown and that it was a good time to push the products "because when companies finally spend their delayed investments we will be established in the market".
He said the new notebook range supports wireless local area networks and will be Bluetooth-enabled by the first quarter of next year.
Brown added that when things do pick up there will be a lot of demand for notebooks because of wireless developments.
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