Dell set to change consumer pricing

No details yet, but the company is planning to announce new pricing scheme for consumers, small businesses on Thursday.

Apparently, the price is wrong at Dell.

The company plans to announce "a major pricing initative" for consumers and small business customers on Thursday, it said in a press release distributed Monday. Further details were not immediately available, but Ro Parra, senior vice president and general manager of Dell's new Home and Small Business Group, will lead a conference call.

Dell has been looking to jump-start its consumer business this year. Although enterprise customers account for 85 percent of its business, the company has sought ways to expand its presence among home users of technology. As the PC market share leader, Dell has tried to get its PC customers to purchase other electronic gear, like televisions and printers, with mixed degrees of success.

As a whole, however, the company has blamed the consumer business for much of the earnings shortfalls that have stifled Dell's runaway growth.

CEO Kevin Rollins blamed some of the shortfall on increased sales to the unprofitable low end of the PC market as the company focused on maintaining market share. But a resurgent Hewlett-Packard has caused problems for Dell. A mounting number of service complaints also has forced the company to belatedly improve its technical support operation.

Thursday's pricing initative will probably look to recapture some of that lost momentum. Dell cut prices on a number of desktops and notebooks earlier this year as stalwart partner Intel cut its own prices on certain chips. Intel is also planning price cuts during the upcoming quarter as it gets set to launch its Conroe desktop processor.

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