Dell’s China hell (see here ) seems to be behind it. The company has announced plans to introduce a new, low-cost, Intel / Windows XP-powered PC (the EC280), specifically for the Chinese consumer market (in which 132 million people are already online ). The PCs will start at around US$335-US$518, according to reports.
People’s Daily reports that price is (wisely) not the only selling point, and it seems clear that this is a product that is customised for the market:
“Dell said the main appeal of the system would be its low price, lower power consumption and compact size. It’s about one-eighth the size of a traditional desktop PC…[in terms of competition] Dell will have to deal with the likes of market leader Lenovo Group Ltd. In an attempt to reach new consumers with lower incomes, Lenovo last year partnered with Microsoft Corp. and began offering pay-as-you-go PCs that are sold like prepaid phone cards.”
It is hoped that first-time buyers in new markets (such as emerging secondary cities) will queue up to buy the box – Dell has introduced some “product experience” outlets in China, and even accepts cash via some banks, so online ordering (and the resulting chicken and egg conundrum) may be avoided to some extent.
Let’s just hope that the PC contains all the bits and pieces it is supposed to, otherwise another round of consumer hell will, no doubt, await Dell. In any event, hell is still likely to make an appearance – in the form of the price competition from the top local players, including Lenovo and Founder – especially as it will be hard for Dell to leverage its international model in China (more on which can be found at Silicon Hutong ).
See news sources:
Dell targets China with budget PC
Dell is looking to dominate the Chinese PC market 
Dell, the world’s second-largest computer company by sales, has unveiled a low-cost personal computer (PC) aimed at the Chinese market.
Low-Cost Dell PCs Debut in China 
International Herald Tribune
For China only: Dell develops new desktop PC 
People’s Daily Online – Beijing,China
Prices will range from about 223 US dollars to 515 dollars, and the system will only be available in China, Dell spokeswoman Jacqui Zhou said. …