Dell to sell more low-cost PC models on mainland

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 June, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 June, 2008, 12:00am

Dell, the world's second-largest personal computer supplier, aims to release more low-cost models on the mainland later this year to meet growing demand from consumers and small businesses.

The US company said the strategy was in line with its efforts to establish a presence in 1,000 cities across the mainland.

'We still have a way to go to meet that target, but we've made significant progress last quarter,' said Steve Felice, Dell's president for Asia Pacific and Japan.

Mr Felice said Dell, the No4 personal computer supplier on the mainland, saw its sales performance in the country boost first-quarter revenue by 19 per cent year on year in its Asia-Pacific and Japan market. India and China led the region with revenue increases of 52 per cent and 30 per cent, as well as unit shipment growth of 68 per cent and 43 per cent respectively.

Dell last week reported global first-quarter revenue of US$16.08 billion, up 9 per cent from US$14.72 billion in the same quarter a year earlier.

Mr Felice said Dell planned to release more low-cost laptop computers as demand for them grew steadily on the mainland.

'It is our intention to have quality products in all of the price bands,' he said, noting new low-cost laptops with 14- to 15-inch widescreen displays were in the pipeline. He said China was the first market worldwide to receive the Dell 500 budget laptop worth about 3,800 yuan (HK$4,278).

But he declined to comment on Dell's plan to enter the sub-notebook arena with its rumoured mini-Inspiron offering.

Sub-notebook computers have the full version of a desktop operating system but are smaller than a standard laptop and have a display as small as seven inches.

In April, Dell broadened its presence in the mainland consumer electronics market through new distribution deals with large retail chains Suning and Hontu, as well as several personal computer retailers including Wuxing, Meicheng, Heng Chang and Heyong.

Since then, Dell products have expanded into nearly 900 stores of Gome Electrical Appliance Holdings.

Mr Felice said those retail alliances would help accelerate Dell's mainland expansion, which aims for wider penetration of smaller cities with populations of 500,000 to three million.

'It is great to see the Dell brand associated with the top retail brands in on the mainland, giving access to our products to a wider audience of Chinese consumers,' said Michael Tatelman, vice-president and general manager of sales and marketing for Dell's consumer business.

International Data Corp forecasts that total personal computer shipments will reach 43.67 million units on the mainland this year, up from an estimated 36.84 million last year.

Kitty Fok, vice-president of Greater China research at IDC, said: 'There is plenty of room to grow on the mainland for top brands such as Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard and Dell without them taking market share from each other.'

Expansion goal

The strategy is in line with Dell's bid to enter 1,000 mainland cities

The firm's sales performance in China boosted first-quarter revenue in its Asia-Pacific and Japan market by: 19%