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Dell Rethinking the Direct-Sales Market 278

Dell has always sold directly to consumers via their web site and phone operations; it's a basic element of their business. Chairman and chief executive Michael Dell is now conceding that the company may need to rethink basic practices by considering alternative methods of selling their products. While initially no specifics are given, the thought seems to be than eventually the company will begin working with a retail chain. "Dell's direct model came under pressure as the market for PCs shifted to notebooks from desktops last year. It is harder to custom configure notebook computers, so they had to be manufactured in advance, which lost Dell some of its cost advantage. In addition, consumers were showing a preference for touching and feeling a notebook PC before buying it."
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Dell Rethinking the Direct-Sales Market

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  • Dell direct sales (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29, 2007 @07:35PM (#18922235)
    Dell has always sold directly to consumers via their web site and phone operations;

    No they haven't. Dell got their start by selling through smaller computer chain stores before their direct phone/catalog sales and the invention of the WWW.

  • Re:seems worse (Score:3, Informative)

    by Propaganda13 ( 312548 ) on Sunday April 29, 2007 @07:53PM (#18922349)
    Dell does have kiosks in malls to show some of their product already.
  • That is a mistake (Score:5, Informative)

    by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Sunday April 29, 2007 @07:56PM (#18922369) Journal
    What they need is to have new models. The difference between theirs and say a cheap chinese model is minimal. They need to start innovating again. If they start selling Linux, that is to their advantage. If they developed new ideas, rather than just rebranding others, that is to their advantage. But as it stands, Dell will continue losing ground esp if they start selling their system via regular sales channels.
  • by taniwha ( 70410 ) on Sunday April 29, 2007 @08:15PM (#18922475) Homepage Journal
    Here in New Zealand I see low end Dells in "the Warehouse" a vaguely costco-like warehouse chain
  • by garbletext ( 669861 ) on Sunday April 29, 2007 @08:50PM (#18922689)

    why doesn't my Dell have 2-finger trackpad scrolling?
    Apple has a patent (http://www.macobserver.com/article/2006/10/09.2.s html/ [macobserver.com]) on that, and would likely enforce it. Actually, some new synaptics touchpads support the feature in hw, although the functionality isn't there in the windows drivers; check out the X11 synaptics option "TwoFingerScroll".
  • by mangus_angus ( 873781 ) on Sunday April 29, 2007 @09:01PM (#18922761)
    When I worked at Best Buy I can't tell you how many people I had come up to me and ask me where we kept out Dells. After I told them that we didn't sell Dell computers, they would walk out.
  • Re:Dell direct sales (Score:3, Informative)

    by dfghjk ( 711126 ) on Sunday April 29, 2007 @09:03PM (#18922773)
    That could not be more wrong. Dell has always sold direct. It dabbled in retail on a few occasions but not until it was well established as the leading direct sales company.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29, 2007 @09:24PM (#18922889)
    boxen sounds 1337 I guess. It's one of those online terms that popped up a few years back and caught on in hacker-wannabe circles.
  • by tverbeek ( 457094 ) on Sunday April 29, 2007 @10:18PM (#18923239) Homepage
    Apple design has always revolved around the Rounded Rectangle. They've flirted with gumdrops and clamshells, and the edges got a bit pointed during the non-Jobs era, but the original Mac's UI and case design were based on the rounded rectangle, the OS API has always contained primitives for drawing rounded rectangles, and the industrial designs keep coming back to that shape. Look at the current iMac, the front view of the Mac Pro, the top view of the Mac Mini/AppleTV, the full-size iPods and iPhone, or any of the MacBooks: rounded rectangles. Sic semper.
  • Re:Dell's slide... (Score:3, Informative)

    by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Sunday April 29, 2007 @10:27PM (#18923297) Homepage
    I refurbished Dell laptops and desktops at one of their buildings in Austin, TX (six month contract during the tech depression). I found it interesting that the parts they use are no different then what HP, Compaq, IBM, and Gateway have used as well. For example, the LCDs were LG or Samsung brand. Power supplies were LG, Lite-0n, or Delta brand. CDROM drives were provided by the above mentioned brand and then some...

    Basically, the failure rate on Dell machines are probably no different as the entire industries uses the same low-bidder shit for parts when it comes to the desktops. Laptops are different however. Usually the problems are not random failures, but consistent failures due to a bad design flaw (flexing PCB, thermal related, voltage regulation problems, etc)

    These days, it's pointless to have brand loyalty with regards to reliability. It's all the same in the industry. Instead, base your purchase decisions on warranty, price, and rated customer service satisfaction. If you judge on anything else, you're splitting hairs.

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.