Widespread shortage of a new Toshiba notebook has frustrated Toshiba Australia and left resellers with orders backing up for weeks.
A number of resellers voiced their concern last week over extended delays and the inability to get stock of Toshiba's new TE 2000 Series notebook.
What's more, the TE 2000 was never meant to hit resellers' shelves, in that the "secret weapon" was designed to go head to head with Dell in the corporate market and was not intended to be sold in the consumer space.
But you can't keep a good notebook down, with resellers across the country selling out of stock, both to consumer and corporate markets, faster than they could get it in.
According to a former Toshiba employee, the product has been a bone of contention for Toshiba Australia, which is allegedly frustrated with the company's head office directive to not sell the product into the consumer market.
"[Toshiba Australia] aren't even allowed to advertise the fact that it's around," said the source. "They got smacked on the hand [for sales to consumers] because it's designed for corporates."
A Toshiba spokesperson downplayed the alleged rift between Toshiba Australia and its head office, saying that the product had simply exceeded the company's expectations. The spokesperson confirmed that the product was designed as a corporate machine and as such has not been advertised to the consumer market.
When asked about resellers' inability to source product, the spokesperson said: "We can't get them either. We asked for them and demand exceeded expectation. We didn't expect it to sell so well."
The spokesperson revealed there were shortages of the TE 2000 Series towards the end of March but has assured resellers that distributors' stocks were replenished last week, which ARN has confirmed with two of Toshiba's distributors, Ingram Micro and Tech Pacific. Dicker Data also distributes the Toshiba product.
The spokesperson said resellers with TE 2000 Series notebooks on back order should receive shipments from this week.
According to several resellers, the TE 2000 Series, which comes in a number of models, is more or less a "beefed-up Satellite Pro". Its features, combined with its price, between $3,100 and $3,600, make it a hot-ticket item.
"Yes it's great, if I could get hold of any," said one Queensland reseller. "I've got 10 on back order and six of those are pre-sold."
In South Australia the feeling isn't any better, with integrator Microarts having to move customers to IBM machines as it couldn't wait any longer for the fulfilment of the Toshiba orders.
The notebook shortages come after a record January for Toshiba in which the company sold over 11,671 units. "We're moving them out the door as fast as we can bring them into the country," Toshiba general manager Ralph Stadus said in February.
CHOGM meets with TE 2000 Series
Around 150 Toshiba TE 2000 Series notebooks were recently donated on a three-day loan to delegates attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Queensland. These notebooks have since been returned to distributors and will be bundled with a special two-year warranty, according to a source close to the deal.