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Dell Rolls Out Consumer Electronics Products

After watching companies such as Gateway and Philips begin to make inroads in the digital-IT home market, Dell Computer has jumped into the fray by unveiling a series of new products aimed at capturing share in that space.

In a teleconference with reporters and financial analysts, Dell took the wraps off a new lineup of digital home-focused products as well as a new corporate strategy that's poised to add incremental revenue from electronics consumers.

The home market will account for 15 percent to 20 percent "of new opportunities for Dell," but the vendor will continue to focus on its core business of commercial computers, said Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of the company. "For a company of Dell's size, it's really going to be hard to be dramatically off those kind of ratios," he said. Dell telegraphed the company's move yesterday at a Cambridge, Mass. conference.

Dell's decision to enter the home market follows by several quarters a move made by San Diego-based rival Gateway to pursue opportunities in that space. In the past year, Gateway has unveiled a lineup of LCD and plasma TVs, and several months ago, Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple Computer started offering digital-music downloads through its iTunes service. Dell, however, will provide its own core competency in the home space, Dell said.

"We're applying our business model, which has been successful across a broader range of products and services, and now you're seeing it in the consumer electronics market," Dell said. He did not, however, address how Dell plans to integrate and market its new products, whereas Gateway, Philips and Samsung have been recruiting third-party solution providers to take part in their rollouts.

Dell's new offerings will be available in the fourth quarter and will include the following:

* Dell Digital Jukebox, a digital music player

* Dell Music Store, which will offer downloadable music and tools

* Dell W1700 LCD TV, an input-ready high-definition TV that has a 17-inch screen and also provides gaming, streaming video and access to PC applications on the same device

* Dell Axim X3, a new handheld PDA

* Dell Dimension XPS, a desktop system optimized for gaming and high-end multimedia

* Dell 2200MP projector for home entertainment

Product pricing is not yet available.

"We're expanding our lineup of Dell consumer electronics and PC products, even as our primary business continues to be profitable," Dell said. "Extending into new categories gives us another opportunity to revolutionize these products on behalf of our customers."

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