HP, Westan in white-box deal

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HP is making a play at securing a share of the Australian white-box market under a PC distribution arrangement with distributor and builder Westan.

HP is making a play at securing a share of the Australian white-box market under a PC distribution arrangement with distributor and builder Westan.

The agreement would see HP start shipping "bare-bones" PCs to distributor Westan which would then sell them to the reseller channel as unbranded products.

Westan would begin receiving unbranded base unit HP PCs in mid-November which Westan would customise for the reseller channel, said Rosalie Boyd, new channels manager at HP.

Westan would market these machines under its Armapro brand. "I've been looking at the unbranded marketplace for a number of years -- the project has been quite a while in development," Boyd said.

Additional options would also be available with these machines including memory, hard disk drives, CD-DVD combos, CD-ROM and CD-RW, Boyd said.

Victor Tan, managing director at Westan, said the machine was a bare-bones white-box that just happens to be a HP machine. "The difference is that we will also sell this as a bare-bone [machine] therefore [resellers] can put their own brand on it," he said.

He agreed that HP wanted a share of the local white-box market -- which makes up around 50 percent of the total PC market. "HP is motivated to get a share of this white-box market from the white-box direction rather than trying to sell a branded product that is not configurable.

"It's a big advantage because it's a tier-one product -- the quality is going to be good."

Westan also sources product from suppliers in Taiwan, China, Singapore and Malaysia. Westan would target SMBs, homes and schools with the HP products.

Westan was under no pressure from HP to take a minimum quantity of these machines and would handle all the service and support issues.

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