After a two year hiatus, Samsung has officially jumped back into Australia’s notebook market.
The vendor revealed plans for a notebook comeback last month and has made a quiet entry back down under after exiting the game two years ago. The company blamed its last failure on the product line’s lack of appeal to an Australian audience.
Samsung prepared for its return by engaging in a collaborative market research project with analyst firm, GfK, to determine what consumers need. Only five notebooks, including two netbooks, have been made available and one is exclusive through the channel.
Samsung business IT manager, Emmanuele Silanesu, said the vendor's global performance was conducive to its Australian notebook resurrection.
“Our notebooks have had success throughout Europe and from a global brand perspective, now is the time to expand further,” he said. “We went into North America six months ago so now the focus is on Asia-Pacific.”
Ingram Micro is the only distributor on-board at this stage but Silanesu conceded this is not an exclusive partnership and will be looking to grow the channel in the coming months.
“Due to the fact we’re just starting out slowly, we’re not putting the notebooks out to too many distributors so we don’t have entry pressures in multiple places,” he said. “We’ll definitely be expanding this once time goes on.
“We will bring on 20 reseller partners in addition to our existing 12. Depending on their preferences, we may look to take on three more distributors once Windows 7 is released.”
IDC PC hardware analyst, Felipe Rego, said the vendor’s decision to re-establish itself in the notebook space is a wise choice.
“The local notebook market is still strong,” he said. “Previously, they failed to make an impact because its range was too expensive so this time around they have positioned themselves differently with normal and affordable devices.”
Rego saw Samsung’s focus on netbooks as a positive move and will be a key factor for the company’s success.
“The netbook is a growing category and it is good that they have dabbled in that especially,” he said.
According to Rego, a refreshed distribution approach of bringing telco carriers in as partners will also aid the vendor in gaining a foothold in the market. Samsung has been in discussions with Telstra, Optus and Vodafone but nothing has been set in stone. The company expects confirmation from at least one carrier next month.
In a press statement, Samsung electronics IT division director, Philip Newton, said the products have received favourable feedback internationally and is confident in bringing the series down under.
The new notebook series includes the X460 14.1-inch at a recommended retail price of $2999. The larger 16-inch R610 model sells for $1999.
In the netbook category, the diminutive 12-inch NC20 and the 10-inch N120 retail for $999 and $899 respectively.
The N110 is exclusive to the channel and is distributed by Ingram Micro.