Compaq last week released a PC bundle that includes Internet access and a printer for $1699 into the first-time buyer market.
Retrospectively, Compaq wisely missed the "free PC' furore in June and, according to Ben O'Leary, business manager consumer division for Compaq Australia, this is not what IDC defines as a chameleon offer.
"There is no long-term contract to sign here. You pay up-front and you get a Presario PC, three months Internet access from Telstra Big Pond and a Canon printer. It's what we describe as a turn on, log in, print out offer," said O'Leary.
O'Leary did not dismiss the notion that Compaq would at some stage offer "finance options" to customers that included bundled PCs and Internet access, though he was adamant that these would be value propositions to customers rather than disadvantageous to them.
Yet the motivation behind the offer is similar to that of the free PC - get market share at the cost of maximum profits.
"Our main goal is to increase the awareness of Compaq in the consumer market. We've done the most we can to offer the customer a value proposition and that means it isn't as profitable as some other bundles," said O'Leary.
O'Leary estimates customers will save $500 more than if the products had been bought separately, with the PC worth $1799, the printer $169 and the Internet access $260.
O'Leary claims the initiative has been very successful in the opening week, though exact sales figures were not yet available.
According to O'Leary, the reason Compaq is able to offer this deal is its "improved logistics model", and the new range of Presarios.
The bundle will be available through all Compaq's retail stores, though not the vendor's own Compaq Connect outlets.
The deal at a glance
Compaq Presario 100C
433MHz Intel chip
Big Pond Internet access
200 hours free (50 hours in the first month, 150 hours over the next three months)Offer expires June 30th Unused hours are not rolled overCanon BJC-265SP printerFour pages a minuteResolution of 720 x 360dpi