IT’S A SEA CHANGE, Dell Inc getting out of building PCs. The report on www.itexaminer.com, following one on the Wall Street Journal, speculates that Dell will flog off its factories to third party contractors.
It makes sense, but only if you understand how PC assembly works. For Dell. We visited Dell’s places in Ireland quite a few years ago, and they have it to a tee. It’s a just in time build model, so the resistors and everything else are in place just as they’re needed, and according to orders received.
No one who buys a Dell cares where it is built, whether it’s in Chennai or Limerick. Buyers want a bog standard desktop, server or notebook, and it’s got to arrive on time, at a given price, and the rest.
The bigger question is when Dell sells off its assembly units to Whoever Inc, what will happen on the support front? In Bangalore there’s a massive Dell call centre. Will Dell sell that off too? Does anyone need PC support these days? Or is everything so simple and straightforward that it’s like plugging in a microwave? [No, Ed.]
Next time you buy a Dell, if Dell goes through with its plans, you probably won’t have a clue where it’s been built or what’s in it. But never mind, you never did have much of a clue anyway when you bought a Dell, where it came from, did you? And you really didn’t care. Chip manufacturers, take note. ♥
AT THE INQSTER we covered the antitrust trial against Intel by AMD in some depth. Now we have seen the latest deposition which is smeared with black blocks – called redaction – a sort of masking tape of the juiciest bits in the case.
Some gems remain in the acres of text covered in masking tape. On page 29 of the filing, the plaintiff’s joint preliminary case, “redacted”, we learn that AMD offered HP a million Opterons free but HP only would take 160,000.
After a mass of masking tape, we seem to find that AMD thought in some way HP was “irrational”. An unredacted bit said: “No rational computer manufacturer would leave 840,000 free, state-of-the-art microprocessors on the table unless it had been foreclosed from using them by exclusionary conduct. And that is precisely what happened.”
Was HP rational? Is HP rational? The jury isn’t out on that claim. There are pages more but we’ll have to wait until we launch the Examiner to, er examine this fascinating document further.
Moist snuff? Ah yeah, that is one of the precedents that AMD quotes. Presumably some manufacturer of moister snuff than snuff was being exclusionary to the less moist snuff manufacturer.
The case continues. And continues.
WE REPORTED in mid-March that Dell was attempting to emulate HP’s success in implementing a channel strategy in India.
Now it has rolled out those plans, according to DQ Channels, an Indian web site. Dell’s cunning plan is called Partner Direct and will aim to recruit resellers to sell its products in what it quaintly describes as tier one and tier two cities in the sub-continent.
There’s more, here. ♦
WHEN I WAS in India earlier this month, I wrote a story on this boggette about Dell attempting to use a distribution model to shift its goods in the sub-continent.
Now DQ Channels reports that Dell will adopt the “stock and sale model” – but as we pointed out at the time, it will have an uphill struggle.
The wire notes that the Indian channel is abuzz with speculation that it’s signing up local partners. Earlier this week, other news sources said that Dell would continue with its direct model in India.
However, realistically, it has to adopt a proper channel strategy in India where Internet penetration is still low and where salaries are restricted to a few. ♣
INDUSTRY BODY SPEC said that it is in the course of preparing an industry standard benchmark for power and performance related to professional workstations.
The body said that the SPEC/GWPG benchmark will be available this summer, and will use workloads from the SPECviewperf benchmark for 3D graphics, as well as CPU workloads for a number of applications including financial modelling, scientific computing, and open source.
Participants in the push to the benchmark include AMD, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, HP, Nvidia, Sun and Intel.
MIGHTY HARDWARE firm Dell has opened its factory in Chennai and is trying to emulate HP’s success in India by selling kit through distribution here.
That’s a mighty tough nut to crack. According to distributors and computer resellers, HP’s distribution network is near unassailable, and while there’s room for other players Dell stands little chance of wooing the Indian channel.
However, where Dell faces a Sisyphean task in the sub-continent, plucky little player Acer is doing pretty well. Lenovo, on the other hand, seems to have lost the plot.
The problem for Dell is that the channel isn’t prepared to be that sympathetic, after having to compete with a direct supplier for many years. HP, on the other hand, faced a battle with Samsung over two years ago, and consolidated its victory in India. ♣