Samsung launches notebooks in Australia

Samsung has unveiled a range of notebooks, signalling its entry into the local laptop market. It also confirmed Ingram Micro, Tech Pacific and Westan as its distributors.

The range includes four models: the X10+, X15+, X30 and P35. Aimed at the premium mobile market, all are based on Intel's Centrino platform, with prices ranging between $2999 and $3999. With the exception of a three-year warranty on the X30 model, all are backed by a one-year customer warranty from Samsung.

Samsung already sells it notebooks into Asia and Europe. The decision to move into the Australian market would complement its existing range of LCD, storage and printer hardware, the company said in a statement.

Samsung notebook product manager, Steve Trang, said he was now focused on building up a strong retail channel, including an expansion of its relationship with Harvey Norman. However, the vendor would also look to traditional IT resellers to deliver the series to market, he said.

To incite interest from the channel, Samsung will launch a reseller loyalty program for the notebook series in January.

Trang said the program would award points depending on sales volumes and be supported by reseller training.

"Traditional loyalty programs are based on what resellers buy from the distributor," he said. "We want to create a program to get them to sell up to the end user, who is ultimately our customer."

The vendor said it was looking to grab three per cent marketshare in Australia by the end of 2005.

Samsung said it would look to launch an additional three models next year. These would include the X25 model with a 15-inch screen, an N series incorporating a 17-inch screen and a Q series with matching external optical drive.

Although it was not planning to release any branded desktop PCs, Samsung said it would also consider bringing other mobile solutions to market, including PDAs and tablet PCs.

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