Altech gets Creative

Altech Computers is set to share the responsibility of distributing kit from US-based multimedia vendor, Creative Labs. Its products were formerly handled exclusively by Achieva.

The move would herald an influx of new products into the channel with two distributors able to handle a greater volume and variety of product, Altech national sales manager, Kevin Hartin, said.

"We've been talking to Creative for a number of months. Basically, its existing distribution was doing a good job with core products, but there was room to expand on that," he said. "Altech and Achieva will have different products and focuses. There are only a couple of products we will both be distributing."

Under the terms of the new deal, Achieva will maintain Creative's range of MP3 players, I-Trigue speakers and a selection of internal and external soundcards. Altech, meanwhile, will take on an equal amount of soundcards, Inspire speakers, headphones, headsets, keyboards, mice and webcams.

Both asked for, and received, the right to distribute the X-Fi soundcard range.

Hartin said Altech would start to incorporate the high-end X-Fi into its Media Center PC range.

"With two distributors out there offering the full range of Creative gear, there's more choice," he said. "This allows a reseller to differentiate his offerings from the bloke down the road and that's a positive."

Creative sales manager, Nick Angelucci, said the time had come to move to a dual distribution model.

"Creative's business really exploded last year, particularly in MP3. But that momentum we gained was overwhelming for our current distributor," he said. "So we tendered for a new distributor and finally selected Altech. It's on the forefront of convergence technology like media center PCs and we felt that was a plus for our high-end soundcards in particular."

Achieva's Sydney and Melbourne offices were contacted for comment but were unable to provide a spokesperson by the time of going to press.