Dell quietly selling AMD chips out the back door
News that AMD CPUs had quietly popped up for sale on Dell's website, in and of itself, isn't all that surprising. What is surprising, however, is that the AMD products have remained in plain view on Dell's website even after several days. According to ZDNet, Dell justifies these new offerings by appealing to customer demand, yet apparently sees no demand (as yet) for actual AMD-built systems.
The ZDNet article speculates that Dell may be considering AMD as a move to buck its declining earnings growth, but this type of move on Dell's part would only raise more questions than it answers. Its long been suspected that Dell has received preferential pricing and availability in exchange for its sales volume and Intel exclusivity, so it would be surprising if AMD were suddenly able to offer Dell a better deal than Intel.
It's possible that the sudden appearance of AMD CPUs is nothing more than Dell putting pressure on Intel, but in a year where Apple finally went Intel, I have to admit that anything's possible.