Mitsubishi is to pull out of consumer PCs and focus on the corporate market.
The company has promised that the Apricot brand will not disappear and that it will continue developing PCs for businesses, mobile computing, servers and Internet-related products.
It has also promised that it will supply other OEMs. The company claims that the worldwide decline in the number of PC design and manufacturing facilities has created new opportunities to develop its sales of PC motherboards to OEMs.
James Blackledge, marketing communications director of Mitsubishi UK, said the company has moved out of the home market to focus on its core business. "The business market is where we come from," he said. "Consumer sales only ever added up to 10-15% of the company's total business."
However, industry analysts put a dampener on Mitsubishi's plans. The top tier of business PC vendors have streamlined their operations, making it difficult to make great inroads, according to Thomas Reuner, a Dataquest analyst.
"Considering the concentration at the top of the market, it's going to be difficult unless Mitsubishi has big financial backing to buy itself into the market," he explained.
"We do not know how much the company is putting into this operation.
The second tier of the market has suffered very badly, and competition will increase rather than decrease," he continued. "The sub-$1,000 (#610) PC is on its way, and Intel is set to lower entry prices."
Reuner said competition and low margins have driven Mitsubishi out of the consumer market. Mitsubishi sold only 4,000 PCs through the Dixons chain last year, he claimed.
Mitsubishi had tried to penetrate the small business market by offering free Internet set ups, Reuner continued, but has failed to show significant sales figures in that area.
Further investment in research and development for server technology will strengthen Mitsubishi's push into this market, according to Blackledge.
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