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Dell: "hundreds of millions" in marketing to fight Apple

updated 11:25 am EDT, Thu October 21, 2010

Dell in campaign to drop cheap image, hit Apple

Dell chief marketing officer Paul-Henri Ferrand today said his company was spending "hundreds of millions" on a marketing campaign to improve its image and better compete against Apple. He wanted to swing the company's focus away from price above all else and towards more upscale systems like the new XPS line. The executive added that it would come with a shift to mobile devices, with both the seven-inch Android tablet and the Inspiron Duo netbook/tablet hybrid due on Monday.

The Texas PC builder had once been synonymous with high-end Windows systems but over the past decade has become synonymous with budget systems and trimming costs at the expense of user experience. It was one of the first majors to outsource its support beyond North America and has put most of its attention on entry-level Inspiron systems. While it has helped Dell to near the top of world computer market share, it has also led to the company losing share in the US as Apple's focus on the high-end has given it an advantage, particularly in retail.

Dell's global consumer president Steve Felice also launched a preemptive strike in trying to defend his company's imminent seven-inch tablet launch just as Steve Jobs dismissed the entire size category. He was convinced that Dell's strategy of putting out as many models as possible would trump Apple's narrow focus and that Jobs was dictating successful design too soon.

"Apple is known for dictating what's going to happen in the market place and what a consumer should buy," Felice said. "We're at the opposite end of the spectrum, emphasizing customer choice. It's a bit premature to tell customers what they're going to like and what they don't like."

Dell so far has remained mum on sales numbers for the Streak, its five-inch Android tablet, and the Aero, its US adaptation of the Mini 3. Both are running year-old versions of Android and have typically had trouble competing in performance relative to the price. More hope has been placed in its first Windows Phone 7 device, the Venue Pro, which by definition has to use a minimum level of hardware and OS determined by Microsoft.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Roehlstation

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The best way to fight Apple....

    Put out a product that isn't c***.

  1. jonbwfc1

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hundreds of millions

    means nothing if you spend it on the wrong ads. If they've spent that much on ads as awful as the "Dude, you're getting a Dell!" ones, they'd have been better off spending the money on whiskey and hookers.

  1. noverflow

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Crazy idea

    That that 100+ Million and do this.
    Spend 18months making the most awesome suite of ilife-like products the world has even known on the pc.

    Give them away free with your dells. And continue to update them through the years like apple has done.

    Make people want your system because it is better not because they saw an ad.

    Your customers want to make things, empower them to do so, and the customers will find you.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hey Mike: How About ...

    ... spending even ONE million on making an innovative, high-quality product? And doing it soon? Otherwise, you might as well liquidate and give the money to your shareholders.

  1. Geoduck

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Money poorly spent...

    is money down a rathole.

    Spend the money on quality and people will follow. Spend the money on flashy ads for badly designed systems that fail too soon and they won't. It's as simple as that.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Good money after bad

    Pull the wool over the consumer's eyes so they think the emperor has clothes on.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Seems The Cost Of Everything Has Gone Up ...

    ... including t*** polish.

  1. cyb1851

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Dude, I'm not gettin' a Dell.

  1. Wingsy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Dell's Out of Bullets

    Marketing. The only weapon they have, however weak it may be.

  1. manf0001

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Millions don't mean diddly when you don't have a p

    C'mon and wake up Dell... IF you really want to compete against Apple.. come up with your own original product and design.. don't copy Apple.. that's what you did with the XPS all in one (as did other companies) and tablet.. and if I recall a Dell smart phone too...

    A big Problem that Dell has is they don't market a product long enough or don't give it the time it actually needs to take off.. ie the XPS all in one.. one little sign of rough waters, when there probably is clear waters ahead you can the product and say "oh well it didn't work out" I remember that's what happened with the Dell DJ.

    Also Apple does it's market research that's why they are so successful and that why they tell people what they should want because the people have told them with research.

    And one last thing to finish off my so called rant.... if you don't want to loose money stop making so many different varients from ultra cheap to mega expensive and you won't be loosing money..

    With the exception of the iPods.. Apple dosen't have a large selection of 15 of the same product.. only 3 and it's priced still where they don't loose money...

    If you want to give Apple a run for their money (which I doubt Dell can do) make your own unique product and/or design and slim down your product line.. you give TOO MUCH choice.. and people don't like that much to choose from.

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