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.