After what we at InternetNews.com have been through in the last few days, we can sympathize with hiccups like Dell faced recently. A notice on the site sent led to misleading reports that Dell had discontinued selling consumer AMD systems.
People searching for AMD products on Dell.com were given the message "Shop for Dell computers with AMD processors in retail stores. See our retail partners for details. Computers with AMD processors are not available online." This prompted a number of news sites, including CNNfn, to rush out reports full of speculation that AMD might be ditched without ever contacting Dell to ask what was going on.
As it turns out, the reports were partly accurate, but could have used a few extra details. Dell is shifting the emphasis of AMD retail/consumer product to its new retail strategy by putting most of its AMD-based machines in retail outlets like Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Staples, according to Dell spokesman David Lord.
"We always want to deliver best value to customers, so it's just a matter of how we merchandise them," he told InternetNews.com. "A good majority of consumer AMD systems are being moved to retail but they will still be available direct. It's about delivering value to customers, which is price and technology."
The only AMD powered retail product available through Dell.com is the Inspiron 531. Commercial and business Dell products with AMD chips, like the Latitude, OptiPlex and Vostro product lines, will still be available through Dell.com, Lord said.
Such a move is helpful in the competitive retail environment because AMD systems can typically run $100 cheaper than a comparable Intel machine, said John Spooner, senior analyst with Technology Business Research.
"Retailers want their own thing. They don't like the idea you can go to Dell.com and buy the same PC you can buy in their store for the same price," he said. "The quick and dirty way to differentiate is by processor. AMD systems tend to cost less at this point in time."
The $100 price difference could mean the difference between a purchase at Best Buy or not, Spooner added. "It remains to be seen how the market reacts but it makes sense for Dell to keep its retail market partners happy right now to meet its goal of getting back to double digit unit growth. Remember, this is more about Dell than it is about AMD."
This article was first published on InternetNews.com.