updated 03:15 pm EDT, Wed August 13, 2008
Dell to End Separate XPS
Dell is phasing out its distinct XPS line in favor of its regular brands, the company has revealed today. While not explicitly saying it will discontinue the XPS label outright, the name will now be folded into the Inspiron and Studio systems as a high-end trim level. The stylized Studio line will effectively replace the XPS for most purposes, Dell's worldwide marketing chief Mark Jarvis says. The official doesn't provide a motivation other than to suggest the move is part of "brand consolidation" that trims the number of labels at Dell.
The rearrangement nonetheless contradicts past denials by Dell that it would end the XPS line to protect its high-end Alienware gaming brand. Critics have noted that many of Alienware's entry and mid-range systems have often overlapped high-end Dell XPS models and thus cannibalized each other's sales.
Dell's plans also come as part of a larger and more targeted campaign in notebooks, whose sales are growing at a significantly faster pace than desktops. The firm has largely grown at or slightly above the industry average but has struggled against market leader HP as well as third place Apple, which is growing at roughly twice the industry average chiefly on the back of stronger notebooks.
The Texas-based PC maker just Tuesday introduced a Latitude line overhaul meant to both rejuvenate interest in its business notebooks as well as expand their appeal to design-conscious users that would normally opt for home-oriented systems.