It appears that the AMD-Dell relationship may soon be coming
to an end – at least online. Dell was rumored for years to consider switching
to AMD processors for its computers, but the company constantly denied the
Dell finally broke the news to the world in May of 2006 when
it announced that it would sell
AMD-based servers to the public. The company followed with AMD-based desktop
All seemed to be well with the AMD-Dell partnership -- until
now. Dell appears to be in the process of removing AMD-powered machines from
its website. Although machines like the Latitude D531, Vostro 1000, and
Optiplex 740 are still currently available online, Dell
put this cautionary note at the top of the search page for anyone looking
for an AMD system:
for Dell computers with AMD processors in retail stores. See our retail
partners for details.
with AMD processors are not available online.
This move would be a big blow to AMD, which relished the
opportunity to partner with a big-name OEM like Dell -- a company that it tried
for years to crack.
Customers who wish to purchase AMD-based Dell machines in
the future will instead have to go to brick-and-mortar stores like Best Buy,
Staples, Wal-Mart or Sam's Club. Any exposure is better than none, but Dell
derives the vast majority of its sales from its online business so AMD will
clearly be missing out.
The news of Dell giving AMD the boot online couldn't come at
a worse time for the Sunnyvale, CA-based company. AMD reported
2007 revenue of $6.012 billion and a net loss of $3.379 billion. AMD is
still struggling with the remnants of its 2006 purchase of ATI -- ATI is also
now worth 30% less than AMD's original purchase price.
Dell has also had a mixed bag of news in the past few
months. The computer giant was able to slip
past HP as the top computer marker in the U.S. for 2007. Dell commanded
31.4% of the U.S. market last year compared to 26.1% for HP.
On the other hand, Dell announced the decision to close its Canadian
call center resulting in the loss
of 900 jobs and close all 140 of its Dell
Direct Store kiosks around the U.S.
We recently spoke with a Dell representative Anne Camden who wished to clarify the recent happenings on Dell's website. First of all, Dell has since removed the "Computers with AMD processors are not available online" disclaimer from its website. Whether this was a slip-up on Dell's part remains to be seen.
Secondly, Dell Latitude, Vostro and Optiplex systems using AMD processors will continue to be made available on Dell's website.
Finally, AMD-based Inspiron notebooks will no longer be offered on Dell.com. Only the Energy Star 4.0 Inspiron 531 desktop lives on through Dell.com. Inspiron notebooks and the rest of the Inspiron desktop family will only be available from retail stores such as Wal-Mart and Staples.