Monday, 4 March 2013

Why the future looks grim for Dell

Dell used to be one of the biggest names in the computer industry which, at one point, had a nearly 20% share of the desktop market. They now languish behind rivals such as Acer, ASUS and Samsung in computing markets - not necessarily in figures, but in popularity which will inevitably lead to figures. They are so far behind Apple it is fairly ridiculous to call them competition. With the latest developments at Dell (call it a buyout, saviour or cutting losses) is there any way back for the former heavyweight? (I was going to continue this analogy by comparing Dell to Audley Harrison but 1. It doesn't really work, and 2. It would be pretty unfair on Dell in particular!)

In my opinion; no. The big problem for Dell is overwhelmingly public perception of the brand. The name Dell goes hand-in-hand with lethargic, buggy (and bulky!) machines and that is never a good thing. Dell invested heavily in the Windows Vista era, and as we all know that was arguably the poorest major OS we've seen since the pre-XP days. Dell's reputation was largely tarnished by this and the lasting memory for consumers is a slow, buggy and repeatedly crashing OS. They didn't help themselves with poor customer service compounding this. Okay, they have made an effort to improve their customer service - but they've made no big effort to embrace social media where they could've given themselves a nice position in the mind of the consumer. 
     It doesn't appear to have a saving grace either. Where it's competitors have spread themselves suitably thin, moved with the times and have placed fingers in many pies, Dell simply haven't. You don't associate Dell with mobile devices (except perhaps the old Pocket PC era). They have little or no link to music, mobile or tablet. So their only way back is laptops - and they are a long way behind in this too.

Dell can still produce quality - the XPS series for example is a wonderful, high-end machine but this alone is never going to be enough. They almost need to go beyond the mobile era and start again with "the next big thing" because they simply have too far to catch up when it comes to phones and tablets. The road back to former glory is treacherous - and I think it's just too much for Dell to achieve.

What do you think of Dell as a company? Do they have a more positive outlook than I'm suggesting? All comments welcome. Give me a follow in the top right if you want :)

No comments :

Post a Comment