In an interview with the Financial Times, Michael Dell said the idea that the PC "is no longer here" -- that the industry is sliding into a post-PC era -- is "complete nonsense." In fact, he doesn't envision tablets and smartphones replacing desktops and laptops, but instead sees his company playing a key role in the market's overall evolution -- a vision that doesn't include the acquisition of HP's PC division.
"Think about the scale economies in our business," he said. "As a company spins off its PC business, it goes from one of the top buyers in the world of disk drives and processors and memory chips to not being one of the top five. And that raises the cost of making servers and storage products. Ultimately we believe that presents an enormous opportunity for us and you can be sure we are going to seize it."
Gartner analysts are predicting as many as 2 billion PCs being in use by 2014 -- 500 million more PCs than what's currently up and running across the globe. And despite news that consumer interest is shifting towards tablets and smartphones, they're still buying PCs. Dell remains committed to this sector, yet it has also acknowledged a weakening consumer demand, cutting its revenue growth forecasts for the year and delaying orders by public sector customers.
What will keep Dell from falling flat on its face will be its broad portfolio, serving as the only one of the major IT players still offering services and hardware in the same package. "We are very distinct from some of our competitors," he said. "We believe the devices and the hardware still matter as part of the complete, end-to-end solution."
PC growth will mainly stem from emerging markets like China, Dell said. China is currently one of the biggest markets for the company's servers thanks to deals with big internet companies like Tencent. In fact, around 60-percent of the Chinese internet actually runs on Dell hardware... at least, that's what Michael Dell claims.
Still, Dell hasn't given up hope of entering the tablet sector either. Right now things are looking bleak: Sharp just announced that it will no longer produce its Galapagos tablets. HP, which recently announced that it no longer plans to manufacture webOS tablets, has put tablet development on hold until the overall company roadmap is ironed out. Even Dell's own Streak hasn't sold well since its debut last year. The only non-Apple vendors that appear to be succeeding is Asus and Samsung.
But as we've seen with the Asus Eee Pad transformer and Slider tablets, the line between notebooks and tablets is growing fuzzy -- a factor that Dell has all but acknowledged. "The line that separates a tablet and a laptop today will get very blurry and ultimately disappear as you see many new products," he said, perhaps pointing to Dell's upcoming role in the PC market's overall evolution.
To see his full interview with the Financial Times, head here.