Is Dell a Buy for Consumers or Investors? - New York Times "Dell has been struggling as growth in computer buying has shifted from businesses to individuals, putting the emphasis back on the "personal" in personal computing. The company's ability to beat the field on cost depends on marketing its products online to customers who know what they want, like corporate information technology departments. Individual computer shoppers require a bit more hand-holding and are willing to pay for it.
"The retail PC market has done better recently, and H.P. has been much more aggressive in that area," said Rick Drake, manager of the ABN Amro Growth fund. "They do have the lowest price," he said of Dell, "but the buyer right now is one that tends to need more help. The way Dell is set up, mom and dad can't take their daughter to a store to buy a Dell computer.""