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Dell exec downplays AMD rumors

U.K. head of Dell says despite speculation, the PC maker has no plans to adopt AMD's chips.

The head of Dell in Britain has said the company has no plans to be drawn into the game of producing cut-price "no frills" computers.

He told a group of journalists that there is no "done deal" with Advanced Micro Devices over the use of its chips in Dell products, despite rumors to that effect late last week.

"As far as I'm aware, Dell has not put out any statement about AMD," said Josh Claman, U.K. head of Round Rock, Texas-based Dell, which uses Intel processors.

Claman said analysts and the media have been reading far too much into Chairman Michael Dell's remark, when speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show, that

"He'd probably have said that last year, or even two years ago," Claman said. He did note, though, that Dell has been in constant discussion with AMD over the past few years and would never say "never" to a deal with the chipmaker.

Dell CEO Kevin Rollins got industry tongues wagging last week when he said the PC seller is "always open" to making changes.

Claman said, in focusing on rumors, there is a danger of losing sight of the real issue--customers. They are unlikely to be bothered about what chips are inside the kit, he said. He said that is especially true for enterprise customers, who represent 90 percent of Dell's sales.

Any change in Dell's component supplier will certainly not precede a move into "no frills" computers, Claman said. He added that there is no chance of the company providing $150 laptops, in line with a swing toward cut-price computers. "There have been $150 desktops around for some years, but nobody wants them," he said. "Ninety percent of our revenue comes from business. So what functionality do these businesses want?"

Finish is also important, he said, claiming that cheap laptops look just that--cheap. "If you've got a sales guy sitting down with an important client, then it's also about style," he said.

Claman acknowledged that in the consumer market, there may be some success for a cheap laptop or desktop PC for families who want nothing more than a machine to surf the Web and download their digital photos.

Will Sturgeon of reported from London.