Dell computer

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Dell Computers1

Introduction

Dell Computers was founded by Michael Dell in 1984 and has its corporate headquarters in Round Rock, Texas. Michael Dell’s winning idea was to sell computer systems directly to customers, allowing him and his company to understand customer needs well and therefore to provide the customer with the most appropriate computing solutions. Dell still practices the direct business model, saving time and cost by bypassing retailers and passing on the cost savings to the customer. Dell takes pride in its ability to provide customers with the most up-to-date technology more quickly than its competitors that still rely on slower indirect distribution channels.

Dell has a major presence on the internet, having launched dell.com in 1994. By 1997, Dell was generating $1 million daily in online sales – the first company to achieve this mark. At dell.com, customers can put together their own computer system, order it online, and track its flow from manufacturing to shipping. Dell also offers its premier.dell.com Web pages, allowing business and institutional customers to conduct online business. Currently, Dell receives about two billion page requests per quarter, covering 81 country sites, 28 languages and dialects, and in 26 different currencies.

The Computer Industry

The market for personal computers has been growing rapidly for several years with little end in sight. As of the end of the year 2000, approximately 120 million PCs were sold worldwide. Projections for the next five years of industry sales are as shown below:

Year
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
Market Size (in millions)
136
152
168
184
200

Competition

The PC industry has four major competitors: IBM, Dell, Compaq, and Hewlett-Packard (HP). All four make and sell competitive mid-range performance PCs, with the typical configuration for home or small business use costing approximately $1000. Dell’s variable costs per unit total about $800, and it is

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