Dell Dumps Online Sales Of AMD Consumer PCs

Dell Dumps Online Sales Of AMD Consumer PCs

Dell (NSDQ:Dell) has stopped selling AMD (NYSE:AMD)-based, consumer PCs through its powerful online store but will continue to offer business-class AMD desktops and notebooks on, the computer seller said Friday in a joint statement with Advanced Micro Devices.

Dell and AMD "continue to enjoy a strong partnership," said the statement, issued in response to reports that Round Rock, Tex.-based Dell had pulled the plug on all online sales of the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based chipmaker's products. The statement said Dell was "in the process of redistributing its product mix" of consumer PCs to retail partners and telephone sales.

"Only consumer systems are involved in this," a Dell spokesperson said, noting that enterprise and SMB-class PCs with AMD devices were still available for purchase online.

Indeed, at about mid-day Friday we were able to take an OptiPlex 740 Minitower configuration with an AMD Athlon X2 5600+ CPU all the way to checkout on Dell's Web site. While there were no AMD options in's Home & Home Office category for desktops or notebooks, online shoppers could still find AMD Sempron, Turion and Athlon processors in the Web site's SMB and Large Business categories.

According to a Friday post on Dell's external blog, "the majority of our Inspiron AMD-based systems are available through our retail partners such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Staples, and through telephone sales."

The current AMD-Intel mix is just part of Dell's regular merchandising strategy, that often sees the two processor companies ebb and flow in terms of availability through different channels, said a spokesman at the company.

"It fluctuates on a regular basis. I will not speculate or comment on how often we make changes, but we make them on a regular basis," the spokesman said. "The product mix changes. We've publicly said that we're committed to AMD as a long-term partner to provide a maximum amount of choice to all our partners."

The spokesman would not say if changes in the way AMD- or Intel-based PCs are sold is based on customer demand, allocation from the vendor, or other reasons. "Merchandising plans is something we won't share. We consider that company confidential," he said.

Dell's apparent shift in distribution strategies for its most publicly visible AMD-based products was raising concerns in technology circles Friday about the company's relationship with AMD, and what that might mean for the struggling chipmaker in its ongoing showdown with market leader Intel.

"Today's Wall Street Journal alert that you're abandoning AMD in your bread-and-butter Internet business is a significant concern to me," wrote one commenter responding to the Dell external blog post.

The Dell spokesperson said that the company had been deluged with inquiries about the news. AMD shares were down as much as 4.7 percent to $6.28 Friday, while Dell was up 14 cents to $19.57 and Intel climbed 15 cents to $20.20.

AMD had not returned phone calls for comment at press time.