Dell Computer Australia has confirmed it has become a reseller of Sony Bravia LCD televisions - at prices well below the rest of Sony's channel.
For at least the last month, Dell has been selling three Sony Bravia models - the 32-inch and 40-inch models from Sony's V-Series, and the 40-inch model from Sony's high-definition X-series.
In price terms, its deal with Sony is blowing most of the vendor's channel out of the water.
Dell is selling Sony's 32-inch (V-series) for $2199, some $500 cheaper than in Sony's own Sony-Style stores. The price tag is also $400 cheaper than computer reseller, Landmark Computers, $300 cheaper than retail giant, Dick Smith, and $172 cheaper than online discounter, City Software.
Similarly, Dell is selling Sony's 40-inch (V-series) for $2999, which is between $200-$600 cheaper than the rest of the channel; and the 40-inch (X-Series) for $4099, which is up to $900 cheaper.
A buyer from a major Australian electrical retailer, who did not wish to be named, said he was concerned over Sony's decision to push its high-end AV products through a generic computing channel such as Dell.
Spokespeople for both City Software and Landmark Computers said that they didn't move a lot of Sony LCD televisions, despite Sony's claim that the Bravia brand was the biggest selling big screens (above 32-inch) in the US last year.
Director of Landmark Computers, Naren Murugesu, said resellers could steel themselves against such changes by representing multiple brands.
"We sell something like 20 brands of LCD TVs," he said. "We weren't aware that Dell was doing this - we haven't yet had any customers calling to ask for a better price. I think it would be more of a concern for mass retailers such as Harvey Norman."
A Dell spokesperson said it had already been reselling a selection of ViewSonic LCD TVs for the past 12 months.
"We have only ever offered one Dell-branded TV here, which was a 19-inch model," he said. "[The Sony Bravias] are part of a broad range of third-party electronics and accessories we have offered. In the past we have sold Samsung and Mitsubishi plasmas [as well]."
Sony was unavailable for comment at time of going to press.