Reseller News

Dell moves one step closer to retail channel

News of Dell’s business channel strategy and partners is expected in the next month or two, but the company is not prepared to put a date on a retail channel announcement.

Evan Williams, Dell’s head of consumer sales and marketing for Dell A/NZ, says Dell is talking to a number of retailers and will move when the time is right.

Williams says the launch of the $4500 Adamo notebook, touted as a rival to the Macbook Air, hasn’t put the heat on Dell to deliver a retail strategy in New Zealand, but he does concede it would benefit from being showcased.

“It would lend itself very well to being part of a retail play,” he says.

Williams says Dell is talking to a number of retailers and will make its move “when the time is right for them and us”. He describes the market as “challenging”.

“We are looking closely at the appropriate engagement in the New Zealand market.”

While declining to offer a timeframe for an announcement, he says he is “positive of a partnership in the near future”.

Stefan Nordbruch, IDC’s associate analyst for infrastructure and IT services, says if you are prepared to pay $4500 for a laptop, you will probably want to see it first, especially if the drawcard is the aesthetics and build quality.

“In New Zealand, the market for $4500 laptops is reasonably small. In terms of the channel, that’s a challenge. You can’t put it in every Bond and Bond and there aren’t many specialist, high-end shops,” he says.

Nordbruch says the Adamo is a “halo” product, showcasing Dell’s capabilities and engineering and it will bring people into a store. As with the Macbook Air, though, they may walk out with a lower-level laptop.

Dell’s head of the PartnerDirect programme for solution providers in A/NZ, Rob Makin, however, says he is confident of making an announcement in “a month or so”.

Makin says Dell has taken an “extremely considered approach” to its channel development in A/NZ, with a key consideration being not to over-distribute. Dell insists an offer by Vodafone NZ last week to supply a Dell Inspiron Mini 9 with 1GB of data for $74.95 a month on a 24-month contract should not to be taken as a channel announcement.