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Dell to jump component queue by pressurising Taiwanese

Boxzilla won't have a shortage - you will, says Mike

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After being marked down as a potential prime victim of the Taiwan quake (Quake hits Dell) Dell is coming back and playing hard-ball. From what CEO Michael Dell was saying to analysts yesterday, the company is going to make sure its potential component shortage is going to become other people's actual component shortage. Dell's a big ("preferred") customer for Taiwanese suppliers, and is therefore "in a wonderful position to exert its leverage," said Dell. Which of course means that suppliers who want to carry on doing business with Dell in the long term (and who doesn't?) are going to be pressurised to make sure Dell's at the head of the queue. He didn't mention the Rambus problem, but as Dell's one of the companies that's been hit by this, we can expect similar pressure to be exerted to speed the execution of any U-turns Dell makes. Few other companies are strong enough to take a similar position. Compaq, IBM and HP are big enough to get themselves promoted up the queue too, but aside from buying power they'll need to employ flexibility and ruthlessness. Compaq? Maybe, but IBM and HP? Gateway? Whatever happens it's clearly going to be the PC companies further down the pecking order who catch most of the fallout, if Dell has his way. Fascinating to see that even after those long years wandering around the world being visionary, pure steel still lurks behind the smile. ®

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