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Ideal Hardware, wholly owned subsidiary of US Bell Microproducts, has been signed as a UK distributor for U.S. Robotics, provider of the world’s No. 1 selling modem brand and emerging worldwide supplier of high-speed Internet access solutions. The addition of U.S Robotics modems to Ideal’s connectivity portfolio will significantly strengthen Ideal’s modem offering to include low- to mid-range modems providing connectivity solutions across the scale.

Gillian Bower, UK sales manager at U.S. Robotics, comments on the signing: “Ideal is renowned for its highly knowledgeable and focused sales team which makes them a natural choice as a distribution partner integral to our future success. Ideal’s drive and investment into the SAN and NAS markets re-iterates its commitment to the connectivity marketplace and customers. Working with such a dedicated and professional channel partner will ensure our modem offering hits the right markets at the right time leading to increased market share and sales.”

Claudette Morgan, general manager for mass storage at Ideal, comments: “U.S. Robotics is the defacto standard for modems and the name brings credibility to Ideal as a serious quality comms player. U.S. Robotics’ forthcoming move into the broadband Internet access market will allow us to further expand our connectivity solutions. With the UK modem market worth $40m and U.S. Robotics’ current UK market share being 55 per cent, they are an attractive and profitable channel partner which will help us increase our market share and establish ourselves as a leading connectivity distributor.”

-ends-

For further information please contact:

Alastair Rees
Ideal Hardware
020 8286 5250
arees@ideal.co.uk

Mellissa Dorrell
Ideal Press Office
020 7375 3633
mdorrell@metro-media.co.uk



Editor’s Note:

Ideal Hardware Limited www.ideal.co.uk, the wholly owned subsidiary of US based Bell Microproducts Inc., is a leading UK based value-added, storage-centric distributor focusing on the high end of the storage market. Ideal is also a leading distributor of Compaq servers, PCs and storage products and is one of only 12 Compaq distributors worldwide to be awarded the prestigious CIP accreditation for high-end products. Ideal has strategic relationships with approximately 80 suppliers of Enterprise storage, computer systems, software and media products. These strategic products are packaged with Ideal’s value-added programmes and services to provide complete NAS, SAS and SAN solutions.

Bell Microproducts Inc is an international value-added provider of a wide range of high technology products, solutions, and services to the industrial and commercial marketplace. The company's offering includes semiconductors, computer platforms, peripherals, and storage products of various types including desktop, high-end computer and storage subsystems, fibre channel connectivity products, RAID, NAS and SAN storage systems and back-up products. Bell Microproducts is an industry-recognized specialist in storage products and is one of the world's largest storage-centric value-added distributors. The company's products are available at any level of integration from components, to subsystem assemblies, to fully integrated, tested and certified system solutions. The company adds value with a broad range of services including testing, software loading, kitting, mass storage system integration, and computer system integration. Trained and certified technical personnel complete each of these processes at Bell Microproducts' ISO 9002 facilities. Bell Microproducts markets and distributes more than 150 brand name product lines, as well as its own BellStor storage and Trademark(R) computer brands, to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), contract electronic manufacturing services (EMS) customers, value-added resellers (VARs) and system integrators in the Americas and Europe. More information can be found in SEC filings, or by visiting the Bell Microproducts Web site at http://www.bellmicro.com

Note: This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements, which reflect the Company's current views of future events and financial performance, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results or facts to differ materially from such statements for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to: the ability to successfully integrate the operations of recent acquisitions, industry conditions, changes in product supply, pricing, and customer demand, competition, other vagaries in the computer and electronic components markets, changes in relationships with key suppliers, foreign currency fluctuations and the other risks and information described from time to time in the company's reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (including the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and Current Reports on Form 8-K regarding this and other transactions). Investors should take such risks into account when making investment decisions. Shareholders and other readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. The company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements.

About U.S. Robotics

U.S. Robotics is the world’s leading modem provider, bringing the Internet into millions of homes and businesses around the world. For three decades, U.S. Robotics has been at the forefront of modem technology. U.S. Robotics has reemerged as an independent company and will continue its tradition of making the most reliable, simple and innovative Internet access solutions available. All U.S. Robotics resources – from engineering to customer support – are dedicated to fulfilling that commitment. U.S. Robotics is a privately held company headquartered in the Chicago area with a recently opened Emerging Business Unit in Irvine, Calif. For further information regarding the company and its products, please visit the Web site at http://www.usr.com.










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