Toshiba Look To Own Stores For New Premium Brand
According to Mark Whittard, CEO of Toshiba Australia, the PC market is under siege, sales are slipping and the questions are being raised about the future of tablets and PCs.
He said that consumers on average own three core devices today and while the smartphone is essential, along with the notebook, “due to it being the workhorse,” questions are being raised as to what devices they will own in the future.
Speaking in Sydney at the launch of a new range of premium Ultrabooks and Windows Tablets that come with a docking keyboard, Whittard said that the future for the Toshiba brand is in the premium end of the of the “new” PC market.
“We are an engineering company that has been around for over 100 years. We invented the first notebook and we are now taking computing to a new level. Everything about our new Kira range is quality, from the design which has been developed by one of the leading global design companies to the components that are the best we can build into a wafer thin lightweight Ultrabooks” said Whittard.
“Technology is not enough to stimulate change. We have to deliver the right design and functionality”.
When asked about today’s retailer, who appear to be more skilled at selling discounts than Ultrabooks priced from $1,799 to over $2,000, he said, “This is a challenge. We are exploring several options and we have looked at whether we open our own stores or whether we work closely with retailers in the development of Toshiba stores staffed by Toshiba staff. Selling a premium brand is very different from selling discounts and in the future we will have several premium Kira branded products including Cloud TVs”.
At today’s launch in Sydney Toshiba showed their new Portege Z10t tablet offering which is a Windows 8 hybrid – part tablet, part Ultrabook, which the company is confident will appeal to both Corporates, the Education market and consumers. It comes with an 11.6 inch HD touchscreen which is larger arguer than most tablets currently being sold by retailers.
A key advantage is that most of the ports are found on the side of the tablet rather than the detachable keyboard. This comes in handy when you want to go mobile with the screen only. The model we saw today has USB and HDMI sockets plus an SD card slot.
The keyboard dock has two USB slots and HDMI ports, plus RGB video out port plus a LAN socket.
When asked why Toshiba had not launched a Windows 8 based tablet to date Whittard said that the early marketing of Windows 8 had confused consumers. He said that 50% of the market going forward will be touch based devices.