U.K. Dell boss: 'No US$100 laptops and no AMD deal'

Dell U.K. head says analysts and the media have been reading far too much into Michael Dell's statements at CES.

The UK head of Dell has said the company has no plans to be drawn into the game of producing cut-price 'no frills' computers.

He also told a select group of journalists that there is no 'done deal' with AMD over the use of its chips in Dell kit, despite rumors to that effect late last week.

Josh Claman, UK head of Dell, said: "I wish I'd invested in AMD stock before the rumour came out."

He added: "As far as I'm aware Dell has not put out any statement about AMD," repeating that it is still little more than a rumor.

Explaining what constitutes an official statement, Claman said analysts and the media have been reading far too much into Michael Dell's assertion when speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show that an AMD deal is "a distinct possibility".

Claman said: "He'd probably have said that last year, or even two years ago," adding that Dell has been in constant discussion with AMD over the past few years and would 'never say never' to a deal with AMD.

Dell CEO Kevin Rollins also got industry tongues wagging last week when he said the company is "always open" to making changes.

Claman said, in focusing on rumors, there is a danger of losing sight of the real issue - customers. Users are unlikely to care what chips are inside the kit, he said, adding that is especially true for enterprise customers, who represent 90 per cent of Dell's sales.

He said: "CIOs don't care. I was recently at an event with 50 or 60 CIOs and this subject came up and one of them asked, 'Should I be embarrassed that I don't give a shit about this?'."

Any change in Dell's component supplier will certainly not precede a move into 'no frills' computers, said Claman, adding there is no chance of the company providing US$150 laptops, in line with a swing towards cut-price computers.

He said: "There have been US$150 desktops around for some years but nobody wants them.

"Ninety per cent of our revenue comes from business. So what functionality do these businesses want?"

He added: "Finish is also important," claiming cheap laptops look just that - cheap. "If you've got a sales guy sitting down with an important client then it's also about style and everything."

Claman admitted that in the consumer space there may be some success for a cheap laptop or desktop where families want nothing more than a machine to surf the web and download their digital photos.

Will Sturgeon of Silicon.com reported from London.

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