When Did Tablets and Apple iPad Become Dirty Words?
During the Dell Q1 2013 earnings call yesterday, the PC giant blamed weak notebook sales on growing competition from tablets. The twist: Dell never uttered the word “tablet” during the earnings call. Instead, Dell blamed “alternative mobile computing devices” for the notebook sales shortfall. Um, when did the word Tablet become a dirty word?
On the upside, Dell continues to diversify beyond the PC market — focusing far more on storage, security, networking and even cloud integration platforms for partners. But on the downside, Dell’s overall revenues for Q1 2013 slipped 4 percent and quarterly earnings fell 27 percent.
When it came time to discuss the notebook vs. tablet market, Dell CFO Brian Gladden said:
“Our notebook business contracted 10%, as we saw a more aggressive competitive environment, particularly in the entry level and emerging markets. We believe some of the tougher competitive environment can be attributed to channel inventory rebuilding, following the hard disk issues of the past 2 quarters. In addition, we’re seeing more consumer IT spending diverted to alternative mobile computing devices. These dynamics impacted both our revenue and margins for the quarter. In the short term, we believe our client business is well positioned on cost, and we’ll focus our efforts on growth on higher-margin, higher-value segments, with a priority on profit over unit share.”
Just Say It
Hmmm… Alternative Mobile Computing Devices? Can’t we all address the elephant in the room? Apple’s iPad remains the dominant tablet, major PC makers have yet to see tablet upside from Google Android, and tablets leveraging Microsoft’s Windows 8 remain months away from official launch.
With all those factors in mind, it’s no surprise that Alternative Mobile Computing Devices (aka iPad sales) continue to eat away at some traditional PC sales.