Tiny offers cut price PCs

LONDON (02/06/2004) - Failed U.K. PC manufacturer Tiny computers is Friday launching a new mail order website, Tiny.com, selling its own-branded PCs and laptops.

Rival manufacturer Time purchased Tiny's assets, including its brand name, around four years ago after the company went bust. Since that date, Tiny PCs have been available through Time.

Tiny.com, which goes live today, will serve as a cheap one-stop shop for second and third time buyers , catering for both home and business customers, while Time will focus on selling through retail chains.

By moving its operations online, relying on internal manufacturing and strictly limiting its marketing budget the company promises to deliver PCs to the same specification as other manufacturers but at 15-25 percent cheaper. For example, a machine costing £799 (US$1,464) from a major manufacturer will cost just £599 from Tiny.com, with Tiny taking just £99 profit per machine as opposed to £299 taken by most manufacturers.

"We are relying on huge volume sales through word of mouth," said Dr Tariq Mohammed, head of Tiny.

Each machine will be supplied with a one-year on-site warranty but no technical support; instead customers will have to purchase support packages as and when required.

Every computer will come bundled with a 60-day trial of Microsoft Corp.'s Office, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and IE. Customers who decide to purchase the Office suite at the end of that period will be offered a special Tiny.com rate of just over £100.

Supanet will be set as the default ISP on all machines but customers are free to switch to any other provider by simply downloading software on the group's website.

All manufacturing will be done internally at Tiny's plant in Lancashire, England, which is capable of producing two million machines per year.

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