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Dell Quietly Leaves MP3 Market 166

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the going-gently dept.
An AD-Esque Sitcom writes "Dell has quietly retired from the portable player market. The Dell DJ Ditty — whose website is nothing more than an error now — was absent from Dell's catalogue, and the company was not offering any follow-up products, instead preferring to stick with PCs, printers, and not killing people in fiery laptop-related explosions. Dell will still be a third-party reseller of other MP3 players like the Creative Zen, but has left the Windows-based player market to the four big players — SanDisk, Samsung, Sony, and Creative."
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Dell Quietly Leaves MP3 Market

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  • by User 956 (568564) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @08:01PM (#15974618) Homepage
    ell will still be a third-party reseller of other MP3 players like the Creative Zen, but has left the Windows-based player market to the four big players -- SanDisk, Samsung, Sony, and Creative. Of course they bailed on the market. Microsoft is about to enter it and drop a shitload of cash in an attempt to gain marketshare, just like they did with xbox. The most likely scenario is that they're going to initially cannibalize non-ipod sales.
  • by jht (5006) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @08:47PM (#15974812) Homepage Journal
    When you look at Dell's strengths, it's always been in mainstream products (PCs, laptops, and servers), significant add-ons to them that get used as revenue boosters (printers, low-end network hardware), and to a lesser extent displays and now TVs. Other branded add-ons like the Axim PDAs and their various MP3 players have never really been a hit, because they're the type of consumer electronics that get bought in person - and Dell doesn't do that. It wouldn't shock me at some point to see Dell drop the PDA line, too.

    They've had enough hiccups in recent months that the pressure to execute is probably building. Dell has never been about "cool", or innovation. They've always been a supply chain-oriented company who makes money by taking a proven technology, building it faster and cheaper than everyone else, and taking advantage of every inventory trick in the book to keep the balance sheet clean. That works great for computers, but virtually nobody would ever buy a MP3 player over the web from them based on that alone. And Dell can't do sexy like Apple can. No wonder Michael Dell always sounds so bitter when he talks about Apple. He's about as much of an Anti-Jobs as any tech CEO could possibly be.
  • by bangenge (514660) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @09:39PM (#15975026)
    apple would have loved to have stuck to their core competency, but they gambled. but they had a good (and you might even say great) marketing strategy, a good (again, conservative estimate) product and a market still not really saturated at that time. i have to admit, although you might say luck had to do a lot with the ipod's success, they did what they could to eliminate the need to rely on luck. dell apparently realized that they can't compete with the 50000000lb gorilla in there with the other known consumer electronic brands (sony, panasonic, creative) already having a tough time themselves. coincidentally, i was "watching" tv the other night (i'm in japan right now and i don't understand japanese that much), and i saw a chart that *probably* says that apple has about 50% share of the MP3 player market, with sony at 20% (i hope someone can check me on this one). if sony can't get a bigger share HERE in japan, why should dell have it? as much a lot of companies want to come out with an ipod-killer, they really can't do much about it.
  • by LordLucless (582312) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @09:50PM (#15975078)
    Back in the day there was a phrase going around, which seemed to have great merit: Stick to your core competency.

    You mean the way Apple stuck to its core competency as a computer hardware/OS supplier, and not a music distributor, or developer of portable music devices?

    That phrase should be ammended to "stick to your competencies". Consumers don't care whether or not this new service is "core", as long as the company does a good job with it. See also Microsoft's foray into hardware, with keyboards, mice and X-boxes, often praised by people who don't particularly like their software.

    In general, companies who don't diversify die. Once they fill their original product's niche, and get the attention of all their target market, there is no way to grow except diversification. And if a company isn't growing, it's dying. That's particularly true of companies with a retail model; once you've sold your product to everyone who wants one, the only sales you're going to get are for replacements. That volume of sale won't be able to support the sort infrastructure you had when you were growing, so your company wil have to downsize. As you downsize, your ability to produce and sell your product likewise decreases, and you start the slow (or more often, very fast) spiral into obscurity.
  • Fiery Explosions? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by twifosp (532320) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @10:28PM (#15975246)
    and not killing people in fiery laptop-related explosions.

    Wow, great piece of editorial comment there! I'm not one to defend cooperate giants here, but Sony is to blame for the shoddy electronics not Dell. Dell at least was the first to issue a recall for the battery issue. Apple uses the same batteries that cause fires and they are just NOW coming out with the a recall. They've known about it for a long time now. HP has about 3 million of the batteries in circulation and who knows how many Sony laptops contain the dodgey batteries. Neither of those companies have even issued a warning about the batteries, nor has Sony owned up to the issue and prefers to let the distributors of their energy storing grenades take the fall.

    If you want to flame a company, flame Sony. How exactly does Dell come out looking like the bad guy here? And on an article about MP3 players no less.

    Slashdot is getting as bad as Fox news. Congratulations editors.

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