updated 10:40 pm EST, Wed March 22, 2006
Dell scoops up Alienware
PC giant Dell today announced that it is buying Alienware, a high-end PC-maker focused on the gaming market -- in an effort to what some believe is to fight Apple's potential marketshare gains by its move to the Intel architecture. "Alienware's products are an excellent complement to Dell's own line of high-performance computers designed for gaming-enthusiast and media-content customers," CEO Michael Dell said. "In addition to offering high-quality, high-performance products, Alienware has tremendous brand appeal with consumers and creative business professionals," Dell added. Dell likely took interest in Alienware to strengthen its stance against Apple, as well as branding, according to a report from Forbes.
The Dell brand is well known for its mainstream, family PCs, while Alienware's high-end gaming machines have drawn a crowd of power gamers and users.
The notion of the Alienware buyout by Dell was first discussed by
Rahul Sood, CEO of Voodoo PC, an Alienware competitor. According to the report, Sood argued that Dell needed to buy Alienware, in part to position itself better against Apple, which has begun producing Intel-based Macs, a bold departure from its PowerPC-based roots.
"With the recent Intel/Apple relationship, it's clear that 15% (or whatever) of the consumer space for Dell may not be enough," wrote Sood. "Apple is likely to go to 8% with the help of Intel, over the next year or so. The PC-gaming market is threatening Dell's 'perceived technology leadership'--and ultimately the consumer space."
The report argues that Dell acquired Alienware so it could help establish a strong brand.
"The Dell brand has become synonymous with mainstream, family PCs, while Alienware's cutting-edge cool has a strong following among young gamers and power users," according to the report. "Alienware has also gained some traction in recent years by selling its powerful machines to businesses. And while that market is still small, the PCs are increasingly being used in graphics applications and to perform high-end engineering."