Altech bullish over whitebox in 2006

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Fresh from its appearance at the CES convention in Las Vegas, Altech Computers is flushed with confidence.

Fresh from its appearance at the CES convention in Las Vegas Altech Computers is flushed with confidence.

Having been certified for Intel’s new Viiv digital home platform and with the impending launch of Windows Vista the distributor and whitebox builder is predicting a major resurgence in the local PC market in the year ahead.

Citing the company’s 40.9 percent revenue growth in the 2005 calendar year, national sales manager Kevin Hartin was bullish about 2006.

“I’d go so far as to say that 2006 will be the year of Altech,” he said. “The CEO has laid down plans for steep expansion this year.”

The company’s PC build business would feature heavily in this strategy, Hartin said.

“We don’t claim to be the next Optima but our build business is on the rise," he said. “We’re now doing six times as many builds as we were this time last year.”

This was based on growing credibility in the reseller community around its Media Centre and video surveillance offerings, Hartin said.

Moving toward selling built systems rather components alone was proving to be profitable for resellers as well as Altech, he claimed.

“This way we can sell 100 per cent of components in the systems versus 20 to 50 per cent which means we can cover the cost of the build,” he said. “Resellers get the systems for the same cost as the components so they can spend more time on selling.”

IDC senior analyst hardware, Mike Sager, said Altech's bid to capture more of the whitebox build market would be an uphill battle.

He said the whitebox market had actually declined some five per cent in the year to Q3 2005. It now accounted for only 33 per cent of all desktop and notebook sales.

Sager also played down the impact of the launch of Vista as a driver of the refresh cycle, stating that any change to the hardware market was expected to be "evolutionary rather than revolutionary".

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