| PC Makers to Counter Sony in Summer Sales Campaigns
May 29, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Sony Corp., which has maintained brisk
sales of its notebook PCs, will be under a strong counterattack
from competitors in Japan�s upcoming summer PC sales campaigns.
|Many personal computer makers will market new models to compete
with Sony's popular B5-size notebook PC, the Vaio PCG-505 Series.
All the new models feature a 20mm-25mm thin look by using
magnesium alloy instead of plastic for the body unit and refined
AV equipment-like designs.
Sharp Corp. will market on June 6 the Mebius PJ, which is 21.2mm
thick and weighs only 1.37kg. Its price, 385,000 yen (US$2,800),
is expensive compared with Sony�s Vaio PCG-505, but it has a
11.3-in. thin film transistor-liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD)
and a 3.2GB hard disk. The Sony product has a 10.4-in. TFT-LCD
and a 2.1GB hard disk.
NEC Corp. also is expected to introduce a newly designed thin
Toshiba Corp. is not likely to introduce a similar computer in
time for the summer sales battle. But according to vice president
Tetsuya Mizoguchi, the company is "studying the possibility of
introducing a well-designed thin notebook-type PC."
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. also is adopting the
magnesium alloy look.
The PCG-505 and other thin metallic notebook PCs will be featured
in the summer sales campaigns of volume retailers.
However, some makers are not interested in coming up with models
to compete directly with Vaio.
"No matter how well they say the PCG-505 is selling, the scale of
the market for B5-size notebook PCs is still small, and we don't
intend to fight a serious battle there," a Fujitsu spokesman
There is no talk of such a plan from IBM Japan Ltd., which is
already selling a popular series of B5-size notebook PCs.
But the strategies of Fujitsu and other producers may change,
depending on how the summer sales battle develops.
The PCG-505 has been purchased by a wide range of users because
of its "cool design," and thus more design-conscious models could
be made to compete with Vaio. And that could help expand the
market for B5 notebook type PCs. If that becomes a reality, the
"cool" companies win be the winners.
Related story : Sharp to Sell Thin Notebook PCs to Rival Sony's