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Upbeat Dell pumps up printers, routers

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Dell has issued an upbeat assessment for Q2, holding steady on previous sales guidelines ($8bn), and claiming it's taking share against the backdrop of a "pretty rough" market.

Dell is also expanding its wings: Dell CFO Jim Schneider says it is intensely focused on printers while networking veep Kim Crawford says the company's thinking of entering new networking segments, (most likely low-end routers, according to analysts).

Speaking at the Bears Stearns Technology Conference in New York on Tuesday, Schneider revealed that the company currently sells 2m printers a year - profitably, but not profitably enough in the company's opinion. Maybe Dell could work its pricing magic on consumables - there's an awful lot of fat to be cut here - and market share to be gained.

We forget that, after the deep recession in the telecoms and data networking equipment sector, that the players retain much higher gross margins than, say, PC makers.

This fact has not escaped Dell: over the next year, Crawford's division "will continue to expand and grow to additional categories in networking, to additional types of customers and in additional regions and geographies," she told Bloomberg.

Cisco is the dominant networking equipment player - to date, its greatest pricing pressure comes from surplus equipment released through dotcom crashes onto eBAY. Its traditional rivals are not in good shape to slug it out on price. Dell has the shape and the ability to bring down prices and earn more margin than is available from its more mature product lines. ®

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