Dell to up Thailand investment by 50 percent

U.S. PC maker will invest more efforts in Thailand's consumer IT space and entice young people to buy its notebooks and tablets via more concept stores and product experience centers.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

PC maker Dell will increase investment in its Thailand operations by 50 percent over the next three years, as it looks to raise its profile in the country's computer market from fifth to third by 2015.

Bangkok Post reported Wednesday that Thailand was identified by the company as the biggest IT spender among emerging markets in the Indochina region, followed by Indonesia. Anothai Wettayakorn, managing director of Dell Thailand, said the seven emerging markets in Indochina posted double-digit growth this year, compared with global markets affected by the Euro crisis which grew by single digits.

This explains why there is now greater foreign investment in Thailand and the neighboring markets, he said.

The 50-percent spike in investments for Thailand will be to increase Dell's stake in Thailand's consumer IT market, as well as drive up its enterprise tablet sales. This will be done through growing the number of concept stores and product experience centers, and expand the offices in northern and north-eastern provinces in 2013, Wettayakorn elaborated. 

The consumer IT market will be a specific focus and Dell will be looking to build brand awareness among young local consumers, having already established its presence in the enterprise space. The IT vendor expects to launch touch-based notebooks and tablets by June 2013 to win them over, the executive noted. 

"We are preparing to introduce notebook computers priced 14,000 baht to 15,000 baht (US$457 to US$490) for the first time next year, compared with our existing lowest price of 18,000 baht (US$588)," he said.

Meanwhile the company will continue marketing Windows 8-based enterprise tablets, which are priced between 20,000 baht to 25,000 baht (US$653 to US$817). In addition, Thailand will get about 60 percent of the US$1 million budgeted by Dell to provide free trials of enterprise tablets for businesses across the Indochina region. Besides Thailand, Dell has offices in Vietnam, Cambodia and, most recently, Myanmar.

Tablet sales in Thailand are expected to hit 2.4 million in 2012, out of which 2 percent to 3 percent are enterprise tablets. By next year, enterprise tablets will make up 10 percent of the overall market, the Bangkok Post noted.

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