Though in PCs they're not "going after units for units' sake"Dell has posted another set of solid quarterly figures, with net profit up 21 per cent at $677m on revenues growing 16.7 per cent in the three months ending 31 October.
The figures are in line with analyst Q3 forecasts and show increased strength in two of Dell's key areas - servers and storage. Together, these two product categories - part of the hardware vendor's enterprise systems unit - grew 32 per cent year-on-year, though this hides a jump of 68 per cent in storage.
Paul Bell, Dell EMEA president, told silicon.com: "SANs [storage area networks] was our fastest growing area within storage. The Dell-EMC product line has been received tremendously well in the market with 7,000 customers."
Dell has predicted a fourth quarter that will be up 25 per cent on a year ago but was still cautious about a full recovery in the PC market, where it is the number one player.
"We're cautiously optimistic, speaking to the CIOs of some of the bigger companies," Bell said.
Experts have pointed to the time since year 2000 upgrades as an indicator that a replacement cycle for desktops is about to kick in. However, Dell maintains any upgrade cycle is far from simple and a lot of growth now is coming from SMEs.
Over the course of Q3, shipments from some rivals have increased though Dell questions their approach.
"For all our competitors collectively profits and revenues were down, though units were up. Investors wouldn't want us going after units for units' sake," Bell added.
In other areas, Dell has now shipped over one million printers since it entered the market and sees upcoming areas of growth as imaging, networking, services and some consumer electronics.
Michael Dell, Dell chairman and CEO, said in a statement: "Customers and investors get best value over time from companies like Dell that are growing and financially very healthy. The market should insist on both."
The company said it plans on growing its staff to prepare for future growth. Its headcount has gone up 16 per cent over the past 12 months to approximately 44,300.