Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Sticker shock

Robin posts about Dell griping about "having" to put 'Intel inside' or MS Windows stickers on their PCs.

Err... Having to?

[disclaimer: I don't know how MS's sticker program works. And while I have cursory knowledge of how Intel's program works, I wasn't involved with it. Nothing I'm saying here is trade secret, and can't be found on the web]

About the Dell sticker thing:

Dell’s never been “required” to put them on. Intel sells them a Pentium chip, and then says “hey, mr customer and co-traveller, if you want, you can participate in our Intel-inside marketing program. You put a sticker on your box, and a “ba-boo-ba-loo” at the end of your TV spot, and we’ll pay for a chunk of the TV spot”.

So they’ve never “had” to put the sticker. This griping is “we don’t want the sticker, but we still want you to foot the bill for our ads”.

Boo-freakin-hoo.

It’s a fairly significant amount of marketing assistance they get, from what I gather. Significant enough that AMD has sued Intel over it numerous times, saying it amounts to unfair competition (I disagree, but understand the arguement).

Anyhow, it irks me a little that the perception is that Dell is somehow forced into this. They are the ones that come to the table looking for some marketing money. They claim it costs money to put the sticker on the box, but clearly that's outweighed by the money they get in return, or they'd have stopped putting htem on long ago.

As an aside: If the gripe really is about the cost of applying the stickers in manufacturing, then, as will all controversy, I smell a business opportunity: A case manufacturer should work something out with Intel, MS, Nvidia, and the rest of the "sticker people" to pre-fab and pre-approve cases with teh emblems on them as part of the paint job.

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