Samsung's demise no surprise to distributors
- 07 February, 2007 11:38
Samsung's demise in the Australian notebook market came as no surprise to many of its distributors, who cited price and other marketing decisions as reasons the brand never took flight locally.
Westan executive director, Kamil Aghtan, had anticipated the vendor's demise. However, he praised the build quality of Samsung's notebooks, comparing them favourably with Sony's Vaio range.
"Samsung's notebooks were great and I think if they had better marketing, they would have done a lot better," he said. "I really don't think they should have tried to compete with the likes of Dell, HP and Compaq. The tooling was just so much better."
Aghtan said Westan had struggled to get product for the past three months, suggesting all was not well for some time.
Cellnet's South Australian general manager, Richard Davies, formerly of HiTech, confirmed the distributor had maintained a small business in Samsung machines. HiTech was acquired by Cellnet in December.
"The Samsung notebooks were a bit of a niche product for us - a bit overpriced, but very nice looking," he said. "For build quality, they were some of the best so it's actually a bit disappointing that they went under."
For both Westan and Cellnet, the Samsung hole in their line-ups has already been covered. Aghtan confirmed the Melbourne-based distributor has sourced a new notebook vendor, but was unable to name it at the time of going to press.
Davies, meanwhile, has witnessed an influx of vendors including Asus, Toshiba and Apple as a result of the Cellnet takeover.
A third distributor taking the demise of Samsung's notebooks in its stride was Ingram Micro. Product director, Matt Sanderson, said the account had been a small one for the distribution giant.
"Samsung's notebooks were a very small business for us," he said. "We're more involved with Samsung for LCDs and hard drives. Our competitors probably felt more impact than we did."
Sanderson said he wouldn't be surprised if consolidation led to further brands disappearing over the next 18 months.
Samsung announced its decision to quit the local notebook market two months after its exit from the retail notebook sector. Rival, LG, also confi rmed it would step away from selling notebooks through the retail channel in December.