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Toshiba cuts prices up to 26%

The company slashes notebook and desktop prices up to 26 percent as it struggles to maintain its stature as the notebook PC market leader.

Toshiba announced today that it is slashing prices by up to 26 percent on selected notebook and desktop models, as the company struggles to maintain its position as the leading notebook supplier.

The price cuts, which Toshiba said were made possible by falling prices of components--such as processors, memory, and LCD screens--affect certain models of the Satellite, Satellite Pro, Portege, and Tecra notebook computers as well as the discontinued Infinia desktop PC.

"As a vertically integrated manufacturer we have access to a lot of the front end of the price erosions, and can pass that on to the customer," said Jeffrey Friederichs, vice president of worldwide marketing for Toshiba.

Toshiba, which was only recently the undisputed leader in the notebook market, has seen its market share eroded by other players such as Compaq, Dell, and IBM.

Toshiba price cuts
Model Processor Old price New price
Satellite Pro
440CDX/445CDX
133 MHz (MMX) $1,999 $1,599
Satellite Pro
440CDT/445CDT
133 MHz (MMX) $2,499 $1,999
Portege
300CT
133 MHz $2,999 $2,499
Tecra
520CDT
166 MHz (MMX) $3,849 $3,149
Tecra
740CDT
166 MHz (MMX) $4,499 $3,299
Infinia
7231
233 MHz (MMX) $1,799 $1,699

Refocusing attention on its core notebook PC products, it is discounting its mid-range Satellite and Satellite Pro notebooks by as much as 20 percent.

The Satellite Pro 440CDT/445CDT with a 133-MHz Pentium MMX chip, 16MB of memory, a 1.3GB hard drive, and a 12.1 active-matrix LCD screen, will now retail for $1,999, a discount of $500.

The Portege 300CT, Toshiba's ultra-portable notebook, drops from $2,999 to $2,499. This includes a 133-MHz chip, a 1.5GB hard drive, and a 10.4-inch active-matrix LCD.

Finally, the high-end Tecra 740CDT which features a 166-MHz MMX Pentium, 16MB of memory, a 2GB hard drive, and a 13.3-inch active-matrix LCD, has been discounted by 26 percent to $3,299.

Friederichs did not rule out additional 1998 discounts if component prices continue to drop. "That's a real open issue," he said. "Some products will continue to improve, and replacement products will continue to come in at similar price points."

Toshiba also reduced prices on its Infinia line, which it is phasing out. The Infinia was touted by Toshiba last year as a high-end consumer PC with robust multimedia capabilities, such as a built-in TV and a DVD-ROM drive. However, Toshiba soon found that the Infinia could not compete with the rise in popularity of low-cost consumer PCs, and announced last November that it was getting out of the segment.

Friederichs said the "fire sale" prices on the Infinia were dictated less by competition from the sub-$1,000 PCs, and more by the continuing drop of processor and peripheral prices. He pointed out that the Infinia is targeted at a much higher-end user than the pared down low-price models.

The price cuts on the Infinia, he said, "are not so much propelled by the low-cost market segment, because we are targeting a different customer. The Infinia has been focused at a more feature-rich multimedia customer base."

The Infinia 7231 with a 233-MHz Pentium MMX processor 64MB of memory, a 6.4GB hard drive, a CD-ROM drive, and a 56-kbps modem, has been discounted by $100, to $1,699.