Victor Micronic Ltd is on the lookout for distributors in its bid to become number one in the UK handheld computer solutions market. The Tring-based handheld computer division of Swedish parent Datatronic AB, has also introduced what it believes to be the first handheld terminal capable of being programmed on the job by unskilled end users. The M500 Series features an applications generator, Gen 500, which Victor claims can be taught to non-technical users in half an hour and can cut programming time down from three or four weeks to around 30 minutes. It allows up to 72 screens to be created and sub routines added via the Pascal system language. Data can be keyed in, stored, printed or transferred to a central computer from the M500 Series. The 11.6 oz computer features 32Kb or 96Kb of memory, an optional 24 or 40 key keyboard, a real-time clock, simplified connections – no pin connections are used – and single board architecture. Victor claims to have 36% of the UK installed handheld computer base with 15,000 units in the UK, and reckons it beats competitors MSI and Telxon to the top slot in Europe with 100,000 units. Some 8,000 to 10,000 of those UK units were sold via Hugin Sweda, Victor’s only British distributor to date. Now it intends to take on between 20 and 25 distributors with expertise in the health, insurance and utilities sectors, to increase market penetration and to up distributor sales from 20% to 50%. Victor will concentrate on corporate organisations – it already has products installed at Kelloggs, Bass, Schweppes and Halfords – leaving new distributors to deal with the smaller customers. The UKP2m a year company – which was once part of Kidde Inc, and merg-ed with Chuck Peddle’s Sirius when it was renamed Victor Technologies – hopes to double its turnover over in the next year and is forecasting up to 5,000 computer sales in the coming 12 months. Prices for the M500 Series range from UKP233 to UKP500.
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