RealTime IT News

Juno, IPC Seal Deal To Market Buddy

Singapore's ailing PC maker IPC Corp. Ltd. said Wednesday its US distributor has signed a strategic marketing deal with US-based Internet company Juno Online Services to sell one of its core products.

In one of its biggest forays into the internet business, IPC said it will sell its ultra thin client "Buddy" system to California-based Vega, which will in turn sell it to Juno.

IPC, one of Singapore's major PC makers until four years ago, said it plans to chalk sales of at least US$150 million in its marketing alliance if it is able to sell one million units of Buddy.

The company believes the "strategic marketing alliance with Juno will have a positive impact on the sales of Buddy in the US and (it will act as a) business model for Buddy's worldwide distributors to explore similar deals with major ISPs in their respective countries".

The agreement means that retail buyers of Buddy in the US will receive a mail-in rebate equal to the cost price of Buddy when they sign up for an 18-month subscription to Juno Web, Juno's internet service. In addition to the rebate, Juno, which is one of the largest ISPs in the US, will market Buddy over its Juno service.

Hence, under the deal, consumers who pay US$149.95 will get a US$150 rebate from the American ISP. Buddy is basically a device which enables multiple users to access the internet through a single telephone line and internet connection.

Users can also work either on different or the same applications simultaneously, while peripherals like printers can be shared. The product is currently mass marketed through retailers like Fry's Electronics, CompuUSA and Best Buy.

The deal is significant to IPC because its ultra thin client business is one of the three operating divisions within the company, which recently sold 24.9 percent of its equity to German e-commerce company Integrated Information Systems.