Ingram Micro hopes to ride consumer-IT convergence

Broadline distributor formalizes consumer electronics division.

The line separating consumer gadgetry and business IT products continues to blur, as evidenced by Ingram Micro's move this week to re-dub its DBL Distributing arm as its formal consumer electronics division. The move comes as the giant Consumer Electronics Show kicks off in Las Vegas.

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Ingram Micro Inc. bought DBL, which carries Cisco's Flip video line, Sirius eXM, SwissGear, Sanyo, Panasonic and Haier lines of electronics and home appliances, two years ago.

While some VARs might not see an immediate need to source personal electronics, a spokeswoman for DBL said that a lot of its wares already sell to Ingram Micro's VAR customers. In an interesting piece of synergy, Ingram Micro already carried the Apple iPod line and DBL carried iPod accessories. Now the combined company will carry the whole line.

As more VARs and their customer embrace social media, including blogs, wikis and Twitter to tout their wares, they are becoming adept at digital photography and other consumer-oriented technologies.

More and more VARs are contending with consumer electronics in their customer base as business people want to incorporate their iPhones and other gadgets into their work worlds.

IDC channels analyst Janet Waxman said Ingram Micro, alone of all the broadline tech distributors, has rushed to embrace consumer electronics.

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