Handheld distribution rights resolved

Handheld distribution rights resolved

DISTRIBUTION rights over former Palm and Handspring product ranges in New Zealand have finally been resolved following the merger of the two vendors last year.

Palm’s only former local distributor Renaissance Brands is now the master distributor for the new brand that has been born out of the merger — PalmOne.

Palm’s operations have been split into two since the take-over of Handspring, with PalmOne, producing handheld and smartphone devices, including former Handspring models, while the operating system software that power the devices will be manufactured under the PalmSource label.

Handspring’s previous local representative, Brightpoint, has been appointed sub-distributor focusing on its established channel cellular phone and wireless dealers such as First Mobile and Digital Mobile.

The two distributors have patched up their differences after a brief squabble last August over distribution rights when Palm allowed Brightpoint to stock a number of Tungsten W GSM handsets to Renaissance’s consternation.

James Watters, Brightpoint’s recently appointed country manager, taking over from John van Rensburg, says the company will work closely with Renaissance, but will focus on the former Handspring Treo range. “We understand the Treo very well and it will be our primary focus as we service the wireless channel.”

Dealing in other PalmOne models will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, he adds.

Meanwhile, Renaissance will launch a new Tier One partner programme that will see five existing PalmOne resellers become Platinum partners in June.

The framework of the programme was designed by the PalmOne regional office in Singapore and is set to be introduced in Australia at the same time.

According to Lynley Jury Renaissance’s brand manager for the range, the programme is targeted at resellers that pro-actively work to grow the brand.

In return Platinum partners will receive rebates on demonstration units, in-store displays and listing on the PalmOne website.

Jury adds Brightpoint’s new role as sub-distributor for the range in effect expands Renaissance’s channel.

“We did not have products to service the cellular resellers before,” she says, adding any past difference between the two companies have been set aside. “It is much better for us to work together.”

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