Toshiba boss bashes merger

Toshiba Australia and New Zealand head Ralph Stadus has slammed the proposed Hewlett-Packard-Compaq merger.

Toshiba Australia and New Zealand head Ralph Stadus has slammed the proposed Hewlett-Packard-Compaq merger.

Stadus says it will create uncertainty which can only be good for Toshiba, the notebook computer market leader (30.8% in the second quarter this year), and the merged entity’s other rivals. Compaq is second in the New Zealand notebook market, according to the most recent figures from IT market researcher IDC, with 23.6% of the market, while HP has a much smaller share.

“There hasn’t been a merger that has succeeded in the IT community,” Stadus said at the launch of new Toshiba products in Auckland.

“We see opportunity for us and opportunity for [other] rival companies. If I was a customer I would be concerned. There will be product rationalisations. If I buy a product line [from Compaq and HP] you do not know if it is going to continue,” he says.

The Thursday launch was for new Tecra and Portege notebooks.

Staged at a Newmarket Audi dealership, Toshiba New Zealand head Steve Ford says the launch was inspired by the sleek look of both the notebooks and the cars.

At 2.4kg, the Tecra 9000 weighs 10% less than its 8200 predecessor and has 15% more battery life, the company claims. The Portege weighs under 2kg and has 15% more battery life.

Both models include a Secure Digital (SD) memory card expansion slot, a new thumb-print-sized storage medium, jointly developed by Toshiba, Matsushita Electric and Scandisk.

They say by 2002 it will have a capacity of 1GB.

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