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Orb reaches critical retail masses

Orb reaches critical retail masses

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It is almost as though Orb technology has just reached its next plateau on the removable storage mountain, announcing that it has now gained a foothold at Harvey Norman.

But this is only one of the achievements for which the CEO of the company that invented the technology has commended the Australian distributor, Business Bits.

Syed Iftikar, founder and CEO of Castlewood, said that he was very happy with the progress that the startup single-product distributor has made since it launched the ORB drive in Australia six months ago. "Consumer demand has now reached critical mass, here and around the world," Iftikar said, and he was generous with his recognition of the efforts of his distributor.

Starting from scratch, there are already 600 resellers on Business Bits' files, including major retailers like Dick Smith, Tandy, Harris Technology and now Harvey Norman. And according to Business Bits' channel manager, Adrian Chu, around 70 per cent have registered multiple sales, and the smaller retailers are by no means an insignificant part of the success so far.

For Iftikar and vice president Simon Hum, it was a cause for celebration to crack the Harvey Norman chain of franchised stores. It was partly achieved by customer demand, and store managers responding to enquiries for the drive, Hum told ARN.

HN's national computer hardware coordinator, Ted Johnson, confirmed they would be stocking the Orb products, and said that, as usual, it would be up to the individual stores to order stocks. "We'll take it slowly at first," Johnson said.

One of the early retailers to adopt the technology was Sydney-based Adelong Computers. Derek Trau from Adelong's marketing department described the Orb as "a strong performer that achieved a better take-up than the Zip 250", and said it was rating well with SOHO and home enthusiasts looking for a backup solution.

Among the other Orb signposts, Iftikar reported that during the June quarter, worldwide shipments matched those of the Iomega Jaz drive, and that he expects Orb to pass Jaz in Q3.

The internal Orb drive retails at $399, and the 2.2GB disks are $79 each.

Business Bits

(02) 9279 2420


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