updated 06:35 pm EST, Tue November 15, 2011
Dell sees effect of iPad, rivals in Q3 2011
Dell reported a tough summer quarter on Tuesday evening that showed the deeper impact of tablets and rivals. Its revenue was almost exactly flat over a year ago, dipping slightly to almost $15.37 billion. Although its net profit was up 17 percent to $893 million, its consumer group that covers its home PC business saw a six percent drop in revenue and was joined by problems in its public sector PCs and services as well as nearly flat growth in all but its international field, which covered developing countries.
The Texas PC builder spun the revenue loss in the home group as signs that it was "effective" in moving to more expensive PCs like the XPS 15z. The XPS notebook group grew 207 percent, Dell said. It nonethelesss revealed its continued dependence on low-end PCs by noting that the XPS line was just a fifth of its home notebook revenue.
Although Dell hasn't faced the dramatic plunges in market share that have knocked Acer below many of its competitors, Dell has been one of the few to lose share outright among the top five and had still been losing share before the push on the XPS line. It has been less vulnerable to the economy and the iPad due to the lower priority of netbooks, but it along with Acer and HP has also been commonly associated with mainstream budget PCs.
Its outlook for the ongoing fall quarter didn't suggest that a shift to higher-end PCs was necessarily helping its performance. Blaming an "uncertain macroeconomic environment" and the ripple effect from flood-related drive shortages, it saw its fiscal year ending in January as skewing towards the low end of its revenue, at just one to five percent for the whole year.