Ye Of Little Faith....

  ade.h 21:26 02 Aug 05

So 21% of you think that the end is nigh for British built PCs?

I can't really see that happening. When a major company like Granville Tech fails, surely it's in no small part down to two things:

1) The strong competition from other British companies like Mesh and Evesham that have lower overheads.

2) Possible internal shortcomings specific to that company; such as, perhaps, overspending or bad marketing. I'm not saying that Granville was poor in either of these areas; they are just an example of the many things that can make life hard for a company, particularly a large one.

Indeed, when one major competitor fails to survive for whatever reason, it stands to reason that it creates a bit more breathing space in the market for the others to survive.

Then there are the small specialists, who operate in a different way, and are still able to hang on to their own little market niche.

I firmly believe that there is still room for both large and small competitors alike in the UK marketplace. It will be a long time yet before we see PCs go the way of more mass market consumer devices and originate almost entirely from Asian factories.

  Pooke 21:51 02 Aug 05

Mesh and Evesham are virtually unheard of over here, and the only reason we knew of Time and Tiny was that Tesco and the likes stocked them. I never heard of Evesham and Mesh until I started buying PCA mag and logging onto this forum! We have a choice of Dell, PC World and local supplier, mplex over here.

The bigger companies in the UK charge a fortune to deliver over to here and as a result we turn to the local shops, mplex. (where I buy my equipment from) has grown from one small shop to, I think, 8 or 9 stores in a few years. Not bad for one guy that started the business.

I agree that with tiny/time gone in can only benefit the other competitors in the market, but of course the consumer gets less choice!


  Pooke 21:52 02 Aug 05

refers to Northern Ireland.

  ade.h 21:59 02 Aug 05

There is still a lot of choice out there, especially for newcomers. When I purchased my first PC, it was a struggle to pick from the many brands and models that were available.

I assume from the wording of your post that you are outside the mainland UK, Pooke; in which case, yes, you are at a disadvantage vis-a-vis the courier tariffs.

Your point about being unaware of the alternative brands is valid; potential purchasers have to know where to look to get the full picture of the marketplace, and if they are new to all this, then that's not necessarily going to happen. However, the demise of a high-street company and the success of many online brands is testament to the power of the internet and ready availability of relatively specialist printed media in even the smallest newsagent.

  ade.h 22:01 02 Aug 05

Doh! You got your postscript in while I was typing! Please ignore my now rather superfluous second paragraph....

  Pooke 22:05 02 Aug 05 mistake not yours and I take on board what you're saying.


  Diemmess 09:09 03 Aug 05

Long before I was even aware of PCA, I knew by association of the over-blown adverts for 'Time' and friends who had become dis-enchanted once they had swopped money for a 'Time' computer....

Tiny and Mesh were also very strong on advertised joy and very short on any dependable customer services.

It is sad, but inevitable that as the profit margin/unit fell they didn't concentrate on better customer service and preserve some customer loyalty.

The jury is still out on some of the medium sized players, the best of whom already give excellent customer service but seldom buy broadsheet quarter page adverts, and are virtually unknown off the mainland.

("over here" - glad to know you are not that far away Pooke!)

  Stuartli 14:39 03 Aug 05

The first "home" system I bought was in March 1996.

It was a Time Sales Special, a Pentium 100MHz based system which used 1MB of the 8MB of RAM for the 64-bit integrated "very high performance" graphics card including video acceleration (not normally featured on standard graphics cards according to the manual).

The very comprehensive manual states: "We do not recommend you upgrade this card. The best way to increase performance and resolution is to increase the system RAM to 16MB and use 2MB for video memory. This is more cost effective and will result in a far more powerful system overall."

Other features of the system included a 14in Hitachi monitor, coloured recovery disk, mouse and keyboard, a "sealed envelope" containing miscellaneous system manuals and disks and masses of "free" software. Pre-loaded software documentation was generally available only online or in the Help section rather than traditional, printed manuals (nothing new there then!)

There was also a warning to ensure that all items had reached room tempeature before switching on the PC as, in cool weather, this might require up to 24 hours...:-)

Price of this all dancing, all singing system.

£1,303 and a few pennies.....

  Pooke 21:43 04 Aug 05

Might be getting closer, have it my head that I want to move to the mainland. My fiancee is originally from Stockton-on-Tees.


  oresome 17:28 07 Aug 05

I think there's suprisingly little choice for anyone who wants to purchase a PC and bring it home with them. Especially for those who don't want scanners, printers and the like bundled in.

I know you couldn't necessarily bring home products from Time / Tiny stores, but you could sit down and have a play with them in store and go back if the product didn't live up to expectations.

We need some competition for PCW.

As for where the PC's are put's a relatively low skilled part of the process and better suited to a low wage economy, so I don't rate the UK's chances of survival on a large scale.

Most consumers will be more interested in the price than where it was assembled.

  Completealias 20:48 07 Aug 05

" As for where the PC's are put's a relatively low skilled part of the process"

Surely this is part of the problem of the box shifters, yes putting a pc together doesn't take a genius but it does take a bit of know how and knowledge to ensure everything is setup just right. If box shifting companies spent a bit more time and effort on putting together a machine with good quality components that have been setup and configured well then customers would be happy.

How many stories have you heard of new machines that have arrived full of glitches and problems? What contributes to this poorly assembled pc's and sub standard components.

I think that people are alot more aware of what they are buying and always on the look out for a bargin, if a company sells a good product and backs it up with good after sales they will keep there customers, unfortunately too many companies seem all to happy to take your money and not much else.

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