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Dell Goes After Apple's Digital Music Business

Techstination feature for Thursday, November 6, 2003

Dell goes after Apple's digital music business. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Apple has won lots of fans among Mac and Windows users for its iPod digital music player and now for its iTunes software. Now it faces competition from Dell... which has used its direct to consumer business model to clobber its competition in the PC business. The Texas based PC maker is out with the Dell DJ line of music players... and the Dell Digital Music Store. A 20 gigabyte Dell DJ is now selling for under 270 dollars... about a hundred thirty dollars less than the same capacity Apple iPod. Dell senior marketing manager Nick DeMarco...

"Did we target the iPod directly and try to fix everything that we thought was wrong with it? Not necessarily. What we did was we looked at a very nice product and we said ... okay... what do we think we could do different that would satisfy what customers are asking for. So we went out and talked to them and this is what they told us. Better battery life would be nice. A little bit easier to use would be nice."

The Dell DJ claims to get 16 hours of play time on a charge... .double that of the iPod. It includes an integrated microphone for voice recording... on the iPod... that capability requires a third party add-on. I'd call the devices pretty much even on ease of use. Where Apple continues to hold the edge is on style. You'd be hard pressed to find any consumer electronics device with a design better than the iPod. Dell says entering the digital music business makes sense... and could help it sell even more PCs. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.