International Business Machines (IBM) announced this week that it will pull its Aptiva line of personal computers out of U.S. retail stores and begin selling them exclusively on the Web. The company's Personal Systems Group, which sells the PCs, lost over $1 billion this year, though one bright spot, the ThinkPad line of portable computers, has been selling well and will continue to be sold at retail. The move to retreat online, however, has come under intense scrutiny.
"We need to restore this business to profitability," said IBM spokesperson Trink Guarin. "This will save us a lot of money."
The Aptiva line was introduced in 1994 after IBM cancelled its previous home line, the PS/1. The systems have sold relatively well, though they continue to trail cheaper PCs made by companies such as Dell and Compaq. IBM will continue to sell Aptiva PCs in retail outlets outside of the United States.
For more information, please visit the Aptiva Web site