Dell Dismisses IBM’s PC Demise

SAN FRANCISCO — Michael Dell said Tuesday that he isn’t surprised that IBM might sell its PC business.

When asked about the news that IBM is in talks with Chinese computer maker Lenovo, the man who leads the Round Rock, Texas-based computer maker told reporters that IBM’s PC business was waning long before Lenovo became a topic of discussion.

“It’s pretty clear [the PC business] is not the longterm strategic priority for IBM,” Dell said at an Oracle product and technology show here. “If you look over the last few years, there have been not only declines in market share but divestiture of assets at IBM. I can’t even tell you the last time one of their computers was even made inside North America.”

Rather than look at acquisitions, Dell said his company is eyeing promising markets.

“Out of the top 10 markets in the world, China is a huge focus for us, as well as some of the markets in Europe,” Dell said. “We are also growing in Israel and the Middle East.”

Dell said his company is ramping up for more growth, citing the recent opening of a manufacturing center in North Carolina, the expansion of several call centers in the United States and Canada (including Edmonton), and the possibility of building a second Dell manufacturing plant next year in Europe.

The latest PC breakdown shows Dell’s only soft spot to be Europe, where rival HP remained the market leader, according to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker for the third quarter.

Dell, which enjoys more than 20 percent growth year-over-year, said HP’s lead in the area is misleading because France seems to prefer HP to other vendors.

Out of the Top 10 worldwide PC vendors, Dell has consistently been profitable in the past several years and has recorded the largest shipment growth, according to reports by IT research firm Gartner. HP, IBM, Fujitsu/Fujitsu Siemens, Toshiba, Acer, NEC, Lenovo (Legend), Gateway and Apple round out the list.

When asked if his company would be interested in buying IBM’s failing PC business, Dell warned that it has been a long time since the computer industry has seen a successful acquisition or merger.

“We like to acquire our customers one customer at a time,” Dell said. “We haven’t made that many acquisitions.”

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