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Vaio RS420 Hits The Right Note

Selling PCs is not always about hitting the lowest price point possible.

While this may be considered heresy in some quarters, that is not the case at Sony where the sales performance of its PCV-RS420 Vaio desktop PC during the latter months of 2003 proved a properly configured, if somewhat pricey, unit can still sell well. The RS420 was among the top 10 money-making desktop computers in the U.S. market, according to data from The NPD Group, Port Washington, N.Y. While models priced between $400 and $700 did generate most of the dollar and unit sales volume, Sony’s PCV-RS420, carrying an average selling price of $1,102, brought in almost $70 million in revenue between May 2003 and June 2004.

“Sometimes things just come together. What happened [with the RS420] was we had been reinforcing the message of moving video to DVD for our Vaio products,” said Mike Abary, Sony’s general manager of VAIO product marketing, “and this was our first model to incorporate a dual-format DVD burner.”

The dual-format burner was a great selling point for sales associates to focus on, Abrary said. They could tell potential customers that they no longer had to worry about the Dash and Plus format confusion.

“It seems the customers were willing to pay a premium to have these features built in, and we came in with an acceptable price. This shows Sony has a unique value proposition for the customer,” Abary said.

The unit features an Intel Pentium 4 processor with Hyper-Threading technology, a dual-format DVD burner, 120GB hard drive and 512MB of memory. It originally shipped in September 2003 and was sold through January 2004. The RS420 was sold throughout the Sony retailer base.

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