Dell still makes money off their personal computers, but the margins are simply way higher when selling to corporate. Personal computers have a huge amount of competition and support is expensive.
And though iPads are probably hurting Dell somewhat, I suspect the effect is a little different from 'people switching to tablets'. Rather, most people don't have money to afford both a new iPad and a new PC. While in the past, upgrading ones PC every few years has often been a given, many people will pick the iPad over the the new computer if upgrading doesn't really seem to offer much value in comparison.
They'll keep using their PC -- it's just that they're not buying a new one from Dell.
The low-end PC market is very saturated and very low-margin; even if Dell still has a lot of sales, they're going to talk about the thing that makes them the most profit.
I would like to see simple desktops hardware (like a Nintendo Wii), servers in the cloud, and Dell to disappear into the sunset.
That's because they don't participate in the aforementioned low-end PC market. Dell makes respectable margins on their high-end brands (Alienware), too.
So, I knew what had happened to my laptop. The symptoms of a M1330 with a burnt out graphics chipset were common knowledge online. I didn't feel like buying a new laptop right then and there, so I decided to contact Dell and try to pay for a replacement part. I was routed to a call-center in India where the employees had a set script and absolutely nothing would deter them from following it. Even though I knew what was wrong and just wanted the part to fix it, they told me I had to pay them $50 so they could diagnose the problem themselves. i.e. $50 so they could move to a different section in their script and, if it was well made, tell me what I already knew! I tried to escalate the issue, but no luck. Dell had clearly dumped their customers on this third party call-center and cut all backwards lines of communication.
I know other companies may be little better and this mess was really Nvidia's fault, but I refuse to send more business to a company that I know will do everything in their power to avoid taking care of me. They provided a hot-fix that they knew would just barely delay failure until my laptop was off warranty, and then they treated off-warranty service like a money-making third-party contract.
Dell ultrabooks? No thank-you.
My in-warranty (4 years IWS turned out to be a great decision) T61p had the same issue, and I too had in fact figured out what was wrong with it while my Thinkpad was still under warranty, but Lenovo did not send me a replacement notebook (newer model) until having replaced the planar twice with the same GPU, all of which that had ever been made were known to be defective.
Interestingly, the Nvidia GPU in the newer T410 I got is much slower than what was in the three years older T-series -- when it worked.
It wasn't until the early 2000s when I realised that myself, analysts, non-Apple fans in general were constantly wrong.
What is most interesting, is that people still bet against Apple and bring out the same wrong arguments year after year.
I think I still owe someone a bottle of wine over that bet.
And user experience is "nothing a couple of expensive consultants can't fix"? Really?
If that were even remotely true then Apple wouldn't be as beloved or as profitable as it is today.
I'm surprised to see someone say that at this point. Not thinking like you is what made Apple the success it is today.
If you're an IT infrastructure geek, you should check out the way their EqualLogic storage works.
This is why companies like HP are suffering greatly: Apple is hitting into their consumer division, and Dell is hitting into their enterprise edition with capable solutions at a great price point.
That's just where we make 70% of our profits :-)
Lenovo grew 30% to Mac 26%. Of course, Macs are growing, not ignoring that, but they aren't the only ones.
Lenovo pays attention to design, and though they may not quite have the polish of Apple hardware, they are getting better, and some of their designs really are beautiful.
(Actually, I hear Dell's servers are pretty good, and their business laptops have treated me reasonably well. But they are no Apple when it comes to design and polish, and it's nice that they've admitted that ripping-off Apple-shininess is not a good business model.)
But Dell had awesome service for business customers, if you have a problem theres a technician the next day at your doorstep to fix the problem, that was really awesome.
Maybe Amazon is an end to end IT company. You can buy your PC, and host your application server side.
Dell don't seem end to end compared to companies that have their own database, and operating system, etc. Oracle, Apple, and IBM all seem more end to end.