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Dell moves most AMD systems to retail only

Dell moves most AMD systems to retail only

All but two of Dell's AMD-powered systems will now no longer be available to purchase from Dell.com

The 19th May 2006 is a distant memory these days, but that was the day when Dell announced that it would sell AMD-based systems, finally bringing an end to the system builder's exclusive partnership with Intel.

On Friday, news that Dell had decided to dump AMD-based systems from its website spread quickly after an odd notice appeared on Dell's website when you searched for "AMD". The notice, which has since been taken down, said that Dell's AMD-based systems were no longer available online and that they could now only be purchased via Dell's retail partners.

Indeed, AMD-based Dell systems were still available to purchase online (and still are today for that matter) and the company has clarified its plans.

While it's not clear why the message appeared on Dell's site, the system builder said that it is still committed to selling AMD systems for business customers on its online store, even though all of the products listed above are consumer products.

Engadget was told that the system builder will no longer be selling AMD-powered consumer machines online, with exceptions made for the Inspiron D531 and Inspiron 1501 notebook or, if you're in the UK, the Inspiron 1721 notebook.

"Currently the majority of our consumer AMD-based systems are available through our retail partners such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Staples, and through telephone sales," a spokesperson told Reg Hardware.

When questioned about its online strategy for AMD-based systems, the spokesperson said that "Dell sells a full range of AMD-powered business notebooks, desktops and servers online."

The situation means that consumers wanting to buy AMD-powered systems have to go to retail unless they want to buy one of the aforementioned machines, while business customers can still order a full range of Latitude, Vostro and Optiplex systems at Dell's online store.

Dell wouldn't go into details on why it believes consumers wouldn't want to buy AMD-based systems online, but it was still adamant that it is offering the maximum amount of choice to its customers. "We are committed to the AMD product lines as a long-term partner to provide the maximum choice for our customers," the spokesperson added. Surely preventing consumers from buying a full range of AMD-based systems online is giving the consumer anything but choice?

That said, there is another way to look at this – Dell hasn't been in retail for very long (since May according to Engadget's story), and it is still trying to figure out how best to satisfy supply and demand for its AMD-powered PCs—both online and at retail. With a choice of machines available at retail, a consumer might be more inclined to choose an AMD system, while online they're just greeted with a bunch of configuration options. The benefit here is that the retailers gain because they're selling products that customer cannot buy from the Dell website – arguably the retailer's biggest competition for selling Dell products.

Do you think Dell's decision is the right one, or is it just a case of the company stifling choice for the consumer who shops online? Discuss in the forums.

5 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Flibblebot 11th February 2008, 16:03 Quote
Dell's move into retail passed me by completely, although I did notice Dell systems for sale in Tescos the other day.

It's not surprising that Dell is limiting their AMD systems, especially since Intel are winning pretty much hands down in the processor wars at the moment. I don't think they'll give up on AMD completely though, just in case AMD get their act together and come out with a line of Intel-beaters.
HourBeforeDawn 11th February 2008, 23:53 Quote
people always seem to think of processor wars but they dont apply in the retail consumer prebuilt market, I say this because naturally a lot of people think well this cpu OC better then that one so its the better way to go but in the consumer market in prebuilt systems you cant OC them so the difference in performance is minimal at best. Im sure someone will argue this but regardless at my work we sell just as much amd systems as we do intel systems actually I think we sell more AMD systems as they tend to be cheaper then the intel systems with similar features.

Anyhow Dell is still horrid just the same so I stay clear of them whenever I can.
Dreaming 12th February 2008, 00:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flibblebot
Dell's move into retail passed me by completely, although I did notice Dell systems for sale in Tescos the other day.

It's not surprising that Dell is limiting their AMD systems, especially since Intel are winning pretty much hands down in the processor wars at the moment. I don't think they'll give up on AMD completely though, just in case AMD get their act together and come out with a line of Intel-beaters.

For budget systems AMD are still better placed in the market than Intel. And for most people a budget system will cope perfectly fine - I got command and conquer 3 running on my girlfriends Athlon X2 3800 :)

The only reason I ever consider dell is for their notebooks anyway, only thing they do pretty well because the DIY notebook market is pretty... non existent. Get a cheap dell and upgrade it with your own OS / software and you're laughing.
cpemma 12th February 2008, 01:50 Quote
Quote:
...while business customers can still order a full range of Latitude, Vostro and Optiplex systems at Dell's online store.
It doesn't seem hard for anybody to buy from the business selection; that's how I got a cheap monitor.

But there's only 1 AMD machine, 11 Intel. And the AMD is pitched at the wrong price level - too high to buy for the typists, too low for the boss's desk. ;)

The budget systems are Intel - Celeron and E21xx. Overkill for MS Office, but from £150 for a full system who's complaining?
hawky84 12th February 2008, 12:33 Quote
Dell is just following the trends and adjusting their business to get the most sales, blue is winning at the moment so Dell will concentrate on making blue machines for the masses. Although this will have a hit on the green team when they are already down.
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