Toshiba updates its TE range

Toshiba has added another weapon to its TE series arsenal in the battle against Dell, launching a successor to the TE 2000 notebook, the TE2100.

The new TE 2100 replaces Intel's Pentium III chips with Pentium 4 mobile technology and continues the stealth strategy of the TE 2000.

That strategy was conceived as a challenge to Dell's competitive pricing, and it worked, according to the vendor. The TE2000 was such a strong seller that resellers found it difficult to get their hands on the popular notebooks.

Toshiba's national marketing manager, Mark Whittard dubbed the strategy "stealth marketing". He said the TE series was launched earlier this year as a corporate-only product but it proved so popular the wider channel also demanded access to the product.

With virtually no advertising or marketing, the TE 2000 became Toshiba's biggest seller, accounting for almost 50 per cent of Toshiba's unit sales.

"Rather than promote the product, we decided to keep it very quiet so that our competitors didn't know about the price point," Whittard said. "We took a very aggressive price stance up front rather than stepping the prices down each month in line with Intel changes.

"So early in its life cycle the price looked very aggressive. Resellers could either compete with Dell, or they could make the extra margin and the channel really got behind that. We exceeded our sales forecast."

True to the stealth strategy of the original TE series, Toshiba is playing the price card of the new 2100s close to its chest, but channel partners can call Toshiba's call centre to find out about pricing and supply.

"Since the transition to the TE 2100 we have got ample stock," Whittard said.

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