ITANZ chief executive Jim O’Neill doubts that superior value of local PCs could be convincingly demonstrated.
His comments come after the country's Industrial Supplies Office has cautiously endorsed New Zealand-made computers (see Value enters NZ-made argument).
“I’d find it very hard to come up with a reason why they should be [a better deal],” O'Neill says.
Told of CMANZ head Peter Shirley’s contention that local machines are more “open” to the addition of components from a wide range of sources, he says “I think the likes of Dell and HP would rebut that to some extent.
“I’d think economies of scale would be a big factor. There’s spare inventory around at the moment, and some of the packages I’ve seen from the tier one importers are very attractive.”
On Shirley’s “local support” point, he notes that most overseas manufacturers are locally represented, and with experience himself of running a third-party maintenance operation, recalls little difficulty in performing similar upgrades on locally assembled and imported machines.
IDC’s Darian Bird says the industry monitor has no comparative TCO figures for local and international machines. “Anecdotally, a lot of people prefer the local assembler.”
Even though the overseas rival may have local representation, a customer may still have to wait for parts to be sourced from overseas. “And there is a ‘Buy Kiwi’ attitude among some businesses.”
The foil to this is that “smaller local assemblers won’t necessarily maintain continuity of supply,” Bird says. They may have to use a different part in the identical-looking machine from month to month, and this complicates replacement.
On the suggested greater “openness” of Kiwi PCs, Bird acknowledges that some older machines from international manufacturers were “designed not to be opened”. But today, most can be easily maintained, and there should be no difficulty in local maintenance shops getting suitable parts, he says.
“At the end of the day, it depends what the [customer] is after. Larger businesses prefer continuity of parts and economies of scale. Small businesses may prefer to have the closeness of local support.”