End of the affair?
Dell seems to have pretty much stopped flogging PCs with AMD processors to consumers through its websites. Reports say that Dell has claimed this is part of a shift to a retail focus for AMD consumer PCs but there is little evidence of this in the UK yet.
A pretty healthy range of AMD-powered business products are still available direct from Dell, but look for consumer products on the UK, US and Australian sites and there are pretty slim pickings. The supposed off-setting surge in retail is not yet apparent at Tesco or PC World, although US giant Walmart does seem to offer mainly AMD Dell products.
On the whole this looks like a pretty extensive dumping of AMD by Dell, a mere year and a quarter after it was first unfaithful to Intel. The Dell/AMD relationship was widely blamed for a shortage of AMD product in the channel around that time, but AMD has always insisted the two are unrelated.
Our initial feeling was that this is yet another setback for AMD but on further reflection, if the Dell relationship has put a strain on AMD’s supply chain and, given that business products are much higher margin than consumer ones, this might actually be a handy bit of streamlining for AMD. As ever, time will tell.
Update - 11th Feb 13:50
AMD gave us this statement in response to our enquiry about their relationship with Dell:“AMD and Dell continue to have a great partnership and AMD is pleased with the growth ramp we have experienced with Dell as a customer.
Dell recognizes the significant growth opportunities in retail with AMD and is in the process of redistributing its product mix as it does from time-to-time. In addition to several AMD-processor based Dell notebooks and desktops now available in retail, consumers can still purchase AMD-based desktop and notebook systems on Dell.com, as well as a wide range of AMD-powered server solutions via Dell.com and its other direct channels. AMD looks forward to continuing to foster the strong relationship we have with Dell to help address how they can best meet their customers’ needs with compelling AMD processor-based platform and technology solutions.”