Toshiba targets growth with a tablet and 3D laptop for region
Toshiba is forecasting 20 per cent growth in regional mobile computer sales on the strength of demand for tablets and 3D-enabled laptops.
The Japanese electronics giant says it will launch its first tablet computer in the region next month. It will face tough competition from the likes of Apple, Samsung and BlackBerry.
Toshiba is also launching a laptop with a 3D display that does not require special glasses to view, said Santosh Varghese, the regional general manager for the Middle East and Africa at Toshiba Gulf's computer systems division.
"This year, it's going to be the 3D technology and the tablets that are going to fuel mobile computing," Mr Varghese said. "I would see the market growing year-on-year at 15 per cent. Toshiba aims to grow ahead of the market, and we would target about a 20 per cent year-on-year growth [in] the Middle East."
Toshiba launched its Thrive tablet in the US on July 10, making it a much later entrant in the market than similar devices such as the iPad and BlackBerry PlayBook.
The tablet is provisionally called Regza in the Middle East market, where the launch is set for the third week of next month.
"It's going to be [available in] the top five markets: the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman," Mr Varghese said. "Then we'll take it to the Levant and Egypt.
"We would like to get about 15 per cent-plus of the tablet market space in the Middle East."
Toshiba's tablet computer has a 10-inch screen and runs on Google's Android operating system. Mr Varghese said the company was also considering other screen sizes.
"We're going to have different series," he said. "Right now, it's 10-inch. Hopefully down the line we'll cover the 7-inch or 11.6-inch."
Toshiba's retail activities in the Middle East are strongly concentrated in Saudi Arabia, where it makes about 45 per cent of its regional sales.
"Tablets we feel is going to be close to 8-10 per cent of the total [mobile] computing market, at least for the next six months … for the Middle East region," Mr Varghese said.
Toshiba will follow the launch of the Regza with its Qosmio laptop.
The computer, aimed at gamers, is billed as the first 3D laptop that does not require special glasses. It will be available in the Middle East in September, Mr Varghese said.
Updated: July 22, 2011 04:00 AM