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 user 2007-06-26 at 11:18:00 am Views: 50
  • #17989

    Dell cozies up with HP’s largest notebook supplies
    I was doing laptop design and price research late last year and realized, in my opinion, that Hewlett-Packard Company ‘s retail laptop computers seemed quite a bit more stylish and functional than similar offerings from rival Dell. HP’s glossy consumer notebooks seemed to give more bang for the buck, had great new styling and in many cases, were cheaper from a local Best Buy Co., Inc. store than a less-stylish (boring) laptop box direct from Dell Inc.’s website. In addition, touching and feeling a laptop computer in a store makes buyers out of many as opposed to seeing a picture on a website. And recent history tells us HP surpassed Dell in global market share — I wonder why?

    Dell is obviously not resting on its laurels here, and is giving more and more of its laptop computer contract manufacturing business to Taiwanese firm Wistron, who right now may be the largest laptop system manufacturer for Hewlett-Packard as well. Remember those glossy and well-designed HP laptops I was talking about? They’re all made by Wistron based on a design by HP. More and more market share in the PC industry is shifting to laptop systems instead of desktop systems, so for Dell to give new business to Wistron in addition to Compal (its largest contract manufacturer for laptops currently) makes perfect sense.

    Dell’s reported larger order from Wistron would make the Taiwanese company the second-largest maker of laptop systems for Dell. The one thing Dell needs in the sub-$1,000 consumer laptop market is design finesse, though. HP accomplished that in my opinion with Wistron, as just looking at newer HP consumer laptops gives me the feel of an Apple Inc. laptop system (to a point). With laptops having been boring flat boxes for so long, HP’s design finesse comes shining through (and Sony Corporation  has a great design in laptops as well). In addition to signing on Wistron to make a ton more Dell laptop systems, can the Round Rock company get its act together in terms of a nicer design? Recent hire Ron Garriques may be able to accomplish that — and it’s desperately needed if Dell wants to start taking market share back from HP.