Toshiba has chosen Brightpoint-APT to launch its new PDA into the channel, shunning its traditional notebook distributors in favour of a partner with a more specialised approach.
Brightpoint-APT already distributes handhelds for the likes of Palm, Handspring and Hewlett-Packard and its focus on wireless computing proved an enticing prospect for the vendor.
"What appealed was their understanding of the converging markets of handhelds and telecommunications," Ralph Stadus, Toshiba's information systems division general manager, told ARN.
"We agree with their strategy and we believe they have some good value-added services in the PDA space. It makes it easier for resellers to put together a solution and make more margin. The more PDAs are sold into the corporate market, the more chance they have to sell the modules and add-ons that make money -- it's not just about having an efficient operation and a cheap price."
At this stage, the distribution arrangement is restricted to Toshiba's handheld and notebook accessories. Toshiba will hold talks with its three notebook distributors -- Dicker Data, Ingram Micro and Tech Pacific -- regarding distribution of the handheld but they will have to prove their worth in the competitive market.
"We haven't fully discounted our other distributors," he said. "We will talk to all three, but they will have to demonstrate that they are going to add to the business incrementally and grow share. Of course, Brightpoint also needs to perform for us. If we get feedback that their service is not what we expect, we will review the relationship."
Toshiba hopes to take share from the higher end of the handheld spectrum, capitalising on its reputation in the mobile arena.
"I think Toshiba is synonymous with mobile computing and quality in Australia, so it should do very well," Stadus said. "The other thing is the PDA is just plain nice to use and this really matters in PDAs where the basic attributes are really quite similar. Those small things make a difference."