Tosh to release business, not consumer, desktop

Toshiba has quietly shelved plans for the launch of a consumer desktop PC but will go head to head with IBM and Compaq anyhow by releasing a business range. The Japanese giant had previously planned to release the Infinia consumer desktop round about now but said it didn't see any margin to progress.

Toshiba has quietly shelved plans for the launch of a consumer desktop PC but will go head to head with IBM and Compaq anyhow by releasing a business range. The Japanese giant had previously planned to release the Infinia consumer desktop round about now but said it didn't see any margin to progress.

"We have deliberately postponed a launch," said Murray McKerlie, business manager for portables at Toshiba. "We couldn't make the numbers add up to a profitable business the way the business is at the moment. We don't want to go down the road of unprofitability; we want to stay above the red line and we don't think going into consumer desktops would let us do that. I don't think anybody is making money out of consumer desktops. Companies line up in a dogfight and slash each others' throats and retailers look for a much bigger margin [than other resellers]."

Instead, Toshiba will go ahead with a summer release for a business desktop line that goes under the Equium brand, selling the systems through its current channel. "Customers have been asking why we don't sell desktops. It makes sense; we're already making several key components like CD-ROM drives, hard drives, RAM and CRTs."

Toshiba will also pursue its stated aim of being a top three PC vendor by the year 2000 by supplementing its mobile PC armoury this summer, including the release of its much-hyped Libretto, the world's smallest Windows 95 PC. The unit will be aimed at niches such as roaming workers.

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