Honeywell signals keyboard war

Honeywell signals keyboard war

Embattled keyboard vendor Honeywell has fired back at its former OEM supplier Key Tronic, which last month announced its arrival into the local market, claiming it will supply the same product at around half the price.

Responding to Key Tronic's claim that the previously Honeywell Spacemate badged keyboard will be sold for around $25 retail, John Lloyd, manager of Honeywell's data products business, said that it just doesn't add up. While not wanting to disclose the price Honeywell had been paying under the previous arrangement with Key Tronic, Lloyd told ARN that, given the product is going through a distributor and then to resellers, "it sounds awfully cheap".

It is, too. Danny Kwoh, product manager of ERA, the new Key Tronic distributor, said that the retail price of the Phoenix model is actually around $35, which he claimed is still substantially cheaper than its Honeywell alternative.

Lloyd said that Honeywell is taking legal advice and "considering referring claims made by Key Tronic to the ACCC [Australian Competition and Consumer Commission]".

Lloyd claimed that Honeywell had decided 12 months ago to find an alternative partner for the supply of its Euroboard and Spacemate keyboards after finding out Key Tronic was planning to increase its prices by 10 per cent.

"The Key Tronic keyboard products were nearly four years old, and Honeywell was keen to upgrade to the latest available products at the best price possible," said Lloyd.

Honeywell has recently introduced two new keyboards, the Euroboard Multimedia and the Spacemate II, in partnership with two Japanese manufacturers.

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