Dell has taken an aggressive pricing strategy in its competition with Apple in the music player space. Jupiter Research analyst Joe Wilcox reported in his blog Friday that Dell has dropped pricing on the 15GB Dell DJ to US$149, which is $100 less than the 4GB iPod mini, and half the price of a 20 GB iPod. Dellis 20GB Dell DJ is currently being offered at $195, $100 less than the 20GB iPod.
The 15GB Dell DJ normally lists for $199, and the special pricing is a promotion being made available through a coupon in conjunction with Appleis erstwhile Windows jukebox partner, MusicMatch. The 20GB unit normally lists for $279, and the $195 discounted pricing is available directly from Dellis Web site as of this writing.
The question will be whether or not Dell can use price to bludgeon through the competitive edge that Apple has with its iPod product line. Appleis three main advantages lie in its current cool factor, the popularity of the iTunes Music Store (iTMS), and its extreme lead in ease-of-use for both the iPod and the iTMS.
Dell, lacking all three edges, has its traditional strength of commodity pricing to tap, a strategy the company is pushing farther with this new promotional pricing. Joe Wilcox suggests that some could find a low enough price point a compelling reason to with cheap. From his blog:
The aggressive pricing is (a) clear sign that competition in the market for portable music players is really starting to heat up. Dellis lower pricing, even if temporary, raises the importance of size and style against purchase price. Thereis no question my wife would prefer the iPod miniis size over the 15GB Dell DJ. But, for her, the Dell DJ would be small enough for a $100 savings. And I expect the cost vs. cool question to increase in significance as Microsoft, online music stores and other portable music player manufacturers continue to close the gap on iPod/iTunes remarkable ease of use and elegance.
The Dell DJ works with Dellis online music store, a rebranded service operated by MusicMatch. It also plays WMA-format downloads from other services that use Microsoftis Windows Media platform to deliver digital music downloads.