Dell: Boxy, but Good
Apple Chief Steve Jobs just loped around a corner at Apple’s campus after introducing Apple’s new MacBook Air, catching a group of reporters grinding out stories about his new machines.
“Look at all those fat notebooks,” Jobs quipped, glancing at my Dell M1210 with a predatory grin.
Dell’s hardware is not a cheap alternative to that of its rivals–or rather not all of its hardware should be described that way. The company peddles some premium products as well. It’s just that “premium” isn’t a word that often springs to mind when one thinks of Dell’s utilitarian products, which so often seem to occupy the negative space left behind by Apple and other high-end style setters.
But Dell’s going to change that.
The company is spending “hundreds and hundreds of millions” on a new ad campaign for its consumer business that hopes to draw attention to its upscale hardware. “We’re going to stop mentioning price as the single important aspect,” Paul-Henri Ferrand, Dell’s chief marketing officer, told Reuters. “Apple is known for dictating what’s going to happen in the market place and what a consumer should buy. We’re at the opposite end of the spectrum, emphasizing customer choice.”