I was very disappointed to read the article concerning Toshiba on page 10 of your November 12 edition. The article, headlined "Toshiba losing dominance in notebook market" is false and misleading to your readers.
The article claims that we are "losing market share", however the past few months have been one of our organisation's most successful periods on record. In fact, the cumulative worldwide sales of the company have doubled in just two and a half years, from five million units in May 1995, to 10 million units today - an outstanding result.
While I realise your US arm generated the article, I would have appreciated the opportunity to comment on Toshiba's performance locally. Over the last three years, Toshiba Australia and New Zealand has enjoyed over 30 per cent compound growth in overall shipments. We believe that this reflects not only the outstanding quality and reliability of Toshiba notebooks, but is also a resounding endorsement of our focus on excellent pre and post sales customer service and support.
Also, according to IDC Australia, Toshiba held number one position in the notebook market in 1996 with 34 per cent market share, shipping almost three times as many units as its nearest competitor. This placed Toshiba in number six position in the total Australian PC market. By August 1997, Toshiba Australia had increased its mobile market share to 38 per cent.
Furthermore, on a year-to-date June basis Toshiba held number four position in the overall Australian PC market, up two places from December 1996.
I would also like to counter the article's claim in its last paragraph, which states that Toshiba "must" move to a "build-to-order" model. This flies in the face of everything our customers tell us they want - they are concerned about reliability, service and support, and constantly tell us that our channel model is the only way to achieve success in these areas. Furthermore, the channel can provide a huge range of configuration flexibility to our customers.
Bruce Lakin, general manager,
Information Systems Division,
ARN acknowledges the fact that Toshiba has recorded positive growth figures in the local market and continues to supply a number of leading-edge products. However, ARN also reserves the right to focus on international trends which, unfortunately for Toshiba in the US - are not as noteworthy as its Australian subsidiary.