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Dell Outlines CE Product Strategy

9/25/2003 11:19:00 AM Eastern

New York - Dell CEO Michael Dell gave a cryptic interview to the press and analysts today during which he established that Dell is entering the CE category this year, will open a music download service and revamp its online store, but at the same time gave few details on the actual plans.

However, Dell refused to answer questions concerning the music service and kept quiet on pricing and the exact availability dates all of the products. Dell did say they will be out for the holiday period.

Dell introduced three CE products, a the W1700 17-inch LCD high definition TV, Dell (DJ) Digital Jukebox portable hard drive based music player, the Axim X3 PDA, and the Dell M2200MP home theater projector. In addition, the company unveiled the Dimension XPS gaming PC, Dell Media Experience software and the Dell Music Store. A revamped Dell.com was also demonstrated.

'We are here to officially confirm out entry into the CE category and open Dell.com,' he said, adding that the computer will still be the centerpiece of Dell’s consumer offerings and its vision of the digital home.

The company does not plan to increase its product assortment to the level of a Best Buy. 'To say we are going straight into the TV business would be over stating the situation. The Dell TV is really more of a monitor, we want to have products that attach to the PC,' Dell said, at the National Retail Federation's Shop.org conference in New York City on Sept. 26.

Dell said these additions, plus those that follow, would not alter the percentage of sales Dell gains from consumer sales, which are responsible for about 18 percent of Dell’s bottom line. The new products will not alter Dell’s placement of the PC as a home’s digital hub.

The DJ music player is an iPod-sized device that will be able to download music from a PC or through Dell’s upcoming Music Store. Dell would not give any details on which music content providers the company is working with or how much a download will cost, other than that it would be comparable to the competition. Apple charges $.99 per song.

The Axim X3 was touted as being thinner and lighter then Dell’s current models and features an optional integrated 802.11b capability.

The M2200MP is a variable use model for the home and office.

The lone PC announcement was the Dimension XPS.

The primary changes to the online store include a cleaner appearance, more product photos and simplified navigation, said Mike George, Dell’s chief marketing officer. The new site should go online in mid-October.

'This is the first major redesign for the site in quite awhile,' he said. The site has about 13 million visitors per week

The web store and new products will be supported through an intensive TV and print advertising campaign, George said.

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