Smartphones or Servers? Dell Comes to a Fork in the Road

Michael Dell is aiming to complete the takeover by the end of the third quarter. Once that’s done, he’ll have to begin the long process of turning the Round Rock PC maker around.

Jonathan Marino is senior editor with The Deal. He says Dell and his investment partners will have to choose whether to focus on consumer electronics or on business services.

“If it’s the former, then they’re going to have to move into markets like Asia, where they’re going to be competing, I guess, in a little bit more of a fractured market for smartphone users and tablet users -- places where the Apple and the Google products haven’t become as sticky as they’ve become in U.S. markets. If they go for the latter option, then they would probably behave a lot more like IBM. That would entail them doing a lot to fix up their server business, make it a lot more mobile, make it a lot less based in actual physical server storage within companies.”

Dell and his partners will pay nearly $25 billion to take the company private. Shareholders approved the buyout on Thursday.

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