Rumor Mill: Dell acquires AlienWare

CNet wrote:

March 14, 2006, 8:14 AM PST
Unconfirmed: Dell buys Alienware
Posted by: Rich Brown

While no word has been officially released from either Dell or Alienware, we heard from a reliable source this morning that the purchase has indeed gone down. Speculation began on March 5 after a blog post by Voodoo PC CEO Rahul Sood. The new source, a contact at a high-end vendor who requested anonymity, claims that two of his company's suppliers confirmed that the deal has been done, and he also claims that his company has received an influx of resumes from Alienware employees.

An Alienware PR representative did not deny the claim but instead forwarded us a prewritten statement from the company that said: "At this time, Alienware will not comment on any speculative stories or rumors concerning Dell and Alienware's association. While we do believe that news stories like this are ultimately a strong positive reinforcement of the Alienware brand and the company's success, we will not comment on speculation or potential future events. As always, Alienware is committed to offering consumers and businesses with the best high-performance, innovative PC products on the market and we remain manically focused on that goal."

Dell did not return calls asking for comment.

Dell has taken a lot of flak in high-end system reviews over the past year or so due to its exclusive use of Intel processors. Alienware, however, currently sells AMD-based systems through its Aurora line of desktops. Owning a subsidiary that sells AMD-based systems could be an easier path for Dell toward reclaiming the performance crown, rather than incorporating Athlons or Semprons into its current Intel-exclusive assembly line. We'll presumably know more when the deal is officially announced, or whenever we learn the specifics of upcoming products.

If true, Dell would now own their largest competitor on the high end desktop and laptop market. There must be some kind of margin there or why else would they go after them? AMD systems maybe?

Link to the story can be found here.

Intel would not be pleased...expect Dell's price on processors from Intel to go up if this goes through.

heh, knowing Dell, they probabaly want to crush Alienware more then acquiring them

Yep, it's official. They are keeping Alienware as a seperate brand, with its own seperate tech support, employees, website, etc, at least for now.

It's a win/win for DELL. They can tap a very lucrative high end PC market and gain access to the AMD line without POing their good friends at Intel. It pays out well for AlienWare. They can now tap into the DELL distribution and fabrication system as well as better pricing on componets. Hell, they may even get some R&D funds.

CEJ wrote:

It's a win/win for DELL. They can tap a very lucrative high end PC market and gain access to the AMD line without POing their good friends at Intel. It pays out well for AlienWare. They can now tap into the DELL distribution and fabrication system as well as better pricing on componets. Hell, they may even get some R&D funds.

Unless and until Dell outsources their customer service and tech support to India. Then we all lose. Especially those who've come to rely on Alienware as one of the few remaining high-end PC dealers who actually care about the consumer.

I'm thankful for the low cost and generally sound reliability of Dell PCs, but their service is the worst I've ever encountered in any industry. Here's hoping that Alienware doesn't succomb to that virus.

Holy cow, this is actually happening. I completely agree with Fletcher's sentiment about customer service. In fact, this may be one of the issue that the Alienware CEO will have to consider. If he want to keep the reputation that Alienware has earned over the years, they will need to come up with a good plan to keep the customer service level to be same or better then that of Alienware's.

I am hopeful that if the acqusition happens, that the customer service of Dell will improve. *crossing my fingers*

Edit: FiringSquad got some more comments from the Alienware Co-Founder. At least they won't be forced to Intel only, for now.
http://www.firingsquad.com/news/news...

Fletcher wrote:

Unless and until Dell outsources their customer service and tech support to India. Then we all lose. Especially those who've come to rely on Alienware as one of the few remaining high-end PC dealers who actually care about the consumer.

I'm thankful for the low cost and generally sound reliability of Dell PCs, but their service is the worst I've ever encountered in any industry. Here's hoping that Alienware doesn't succomb to that virus.

Oh trust me on this, bad customer service is a universal on all the hardware manufacturers. India based call centers are the norm now and not the exception. Trust me, all you want from those people is a replacement part and not much else. Software or OS issues should be handled via the knowledge based articles.

You know this who outsourcing c*ap is really giving the populace that received the outsource a very negative image. The only party that benefit from the outsourcing is the corporation, but both the customer and the call center people are really both suffering.
Someone has to do something about this...

Dell already outsources their call center operations, they used to much more but brought some of them back stateside after some complaints.

Outsourcing is here to stay, you've got an entire population that's college educated and can speak english as well as some dialects here stateside. Most of all the standard of living is such you can pay that population $20K a year and they're grateful.

As somone who builds his own PC's and considers Sony Vaio Laptops the bee's knees I view this announcement with a big yawn.

On a side note I'm still waiting for a big OEM to make the switch to AMD and give the big middle finger to Intel. My guts say it will eventually be Dell but seeing how they are pussyfooting around with this Alienware deal... perhaps not.