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2010 comeback – the whitebook?


A walk down memory lane…

Remember when system builders catered to SMBs that wanted desktop PCs customized to their liking and at prices that the big OEMs could not match. Not to mention the local support only system builders could offer the SMB customer?

Then, in the early 2000′s, as components continued to “comodotize” and the big brands started to cater more to the SMB, margins started to shrink for the traditional system builder. About the same time, the notebook market was growing so fast, and Intel introduced Centrino and wireless computing to the system builder market.

Enter the whitebook – touted the next great opportunity for system builders to increase ASP, make margin, sell wireless gear, etc.  I remember the whitebook struggles back then, and from what I hear from some customers, many of the same issues still exist today like:

  • Poor reliability
  • Lack of customization
  • Difficult warranty service and support

This caused many of us system builders to abandon the whitebook market and focus on reselling branded laptops and services to grow and make money.

Then I read a recent reliability study conducted by SquareTrade, naming system builder friendly Asus as the most reliable notebook supplier.  If reliability was the number one concern, will more system builders take a second look at the whitebook market?

At least from a storage perspective, there are many ways to “customize” a whitebook today. Everything from performance and capacity, to technologies like Zero-G sensor and Full Disk Encryption, and even SSD. Can I really be saying this, that the storage could actually be the differentiating factor in your potential whitebook business?

Stay tuned, because you never know what’s coming next (year).

What’s your whitebook war story?

Image by RAM (Reseller Advocate Magazine)

Related Posts:

System Builders – unsung heroes of SMB
SSD – why bother?

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