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Dell plays up audio, photo bundles

Dell Computer is offering new music, printing and photography bundles designed to help consumers get more out of their PCs.

Dell Computer is offering new music, printing and photography bundles designed to help consumers get more out of their PCs.

The new products, which combine Dell gear with third-party technology, became available last week on PCs sold on the company's Home and Home Office Web site. The bundles will offer consumers a simple way to jump into a new hobby in digital photography or digital audio by providing all-in-one, basic gear to get started, the Round Rock, Texas, PC manufacturer said.

"Some customers may need a little more assistance and also may not want to be faced by a long list of options," said Brooks Gray, an analyst with Technology Business Research. "This is a means of simplifying the sales process."

The Dell music bundle, for instance, "is set up so that when (customers) get it, they have the items that they need, including an MP3 player, good headphones, and a 50 pack of CDs," said Mark Oldani, director of marketing for Dell's U.S. consumer group. The music bundle costs $243 before a $50 rebate, according to Dell's Web site.

Dell, traditionally known for selling hardware such as its Dimension desktop and Inspiron notebook PCs, has recently expanded into other consumer markets, including printers, PDAs (personal digital assistants) and wireless home-networking gear. Many analysts expect the company to eventually come out with additional Dell-branded products, including MP3 players and digital cameras.

However, "I'd not say we're looking at entering tons of new categories in short order," Oldani said.

Other new product bundles available on Dell's Web site include:

• The digital photography bundle, which costs $375 before a $50 rebate, has a Dell A940 inkjet printer, along with a cable to connect it with a PC, ink cartridges, a 3.2-megapixel Canon A300 digital camera, and 50 sheets of paper.

• The Dell printer bundle offers the Dell A940 printer with a cable, ink, 50 sheets of paper, and an uninterruptible power supply for $260 before a $50 rebate.

• The Axim PDA bundle, which costs $281 before a $50 rebate, includes an Axim X5 model with a leather case, a cable for synchronizing data and recharging batteries, and a package of screen protectors.

Dell, meanwhile, continues to emphasize that its top priority is the business market. Company executives outlined their strategy at a meeting with analysts earlier this year. The company's primary product area includes business gear such as servers and storage. Printers, PDAs and similar products represent a smaller opportunity to grow its business, the executives said.