Notebook world all set to get whiter

With the Australian whitebook market set to surge, a Brisbane-based reseller is pitching its own line of branded notebooks that the company said would target the growing SME/professional arena.

IDC analyst, Imraan Ali, said whitebooks accounted for nine per cent of the market in 2003 — a percentage that is expected to grow significantly this year.

Byte Power product manager, Michael Daniell, said he expected the number of units shipped to increase by 25 per cent. Overall PC shipments reached record levels in Q4 as the battle for market leadership continues, according to IDC’s worldwide quarterly PC tracker.

“Although the majors took in the richest harvest, even non-branded vendors managed to grow share,” Daniell said.

Indeed, the built-to-order model was attracting users, he said, because it gave them more control to choose what went inside the box.

Getting localised support was also an attractive option, Daniell said.

“People are looking for a quality solution at a good price,” he said.This was a key reason why businesses were looking at whitebook purchases.

“A recognisable logo doesn’t always mean it’s better inside,” Daniell said.

And while the company was putting the final touches on model types and price, he said the idea was to match market value (entry-level gear retails for about $1500). Despite positive market expectations, whitebox and whitebook vendors are constantly battling negative perception.

“The key challenge is convincing the market our product is as good as the encumbents’ brand name products,” Daniell said.

Apart from the colour variation — Byte Power plans to run with a grey — the unbranded models are similar in design to their branded counterparts, he said.

The majority of notebooks were sourced from the same place — mainly Taiwan.

On the desktop front, Byte also pitches its Byte Pro brand of whitebox computers and peripherals.

The company supplies computer systems, peripherals, components and consumables, as well as mobile phones, digital cameras, network items and cables.