Gateway’s back in the UK… and it means business

PC and laptop manufacturer Acer has relaunched the Gateway brand in the UK and Europe, after an absence of seven years.

Gateway's back in the UK... and it means business

In an unusual move, the ‘new’ Gateway brand will focus on medium-sized and larger businesses, in contrast with the consumer focus of the brand in the US and its previous incarnation in the UK.

It will be positioned above the Acer brand but products will not be available through retail or “e-tail” outlets; instead Gateway will adopt a business-to-business model, selling exclusively through resellers and other traditional B2B channels.

“Gateway pulled out in Europe but [it] has still kept a neutral brand perception, so it’s a brand that’s still recognised but not recognised negatively,” claimed Gateway product business manager, Kevin O’Donoghue.

“What we’re developing is not just simply another brand… it’s a separate company with separate structure and different people focused on a narrow segment in Europe.”

“The fact that Gateway stays in the States as a consumer [brand] does not impact the mid-market in Europe,” he argued.

Gateway is set to launch with a limited product line, including three laptops – one 12.1in model and two 15.4in models – plus three desktop PCs at the end of March.

Each of the laptops will be based on a 2.4GHz P8600 Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 2GB of RAM. One of the 15.4in models will have a 1,680 x 1,050 resolution screen (the NO50) while the 12.1in model (NP20) boasts a standard 1,280 x 800.

The models looked suspiciously like existing Acer products, especially the 15.4in machine, which feature the distinctive curved keyboard of Acer’s larger business laptops.

Later in the year, two monitor models will appear – a 19in and 22in model – and three servers, including an in-house Gateway blade-server system.

A spokesman hinted that the initial glut of products would be complemented with a 10in or 11in netbook and either a 12in or 13in ultraportable high-end laptop further down the track.

Also announced were a range of managed services, which will allow dealers to offer a range of rebranded Gateway services, including remote asset management and IT infrastructure analysis over the web. The services will be hosted in the UK on servers based in the London area.

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