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By | Kelly Fiveash 24th August 2007 12:53

Dell laptops not in the pink after all

Paint it black

A customer poses the question: "Dell, Dell, Dell, where art thou lovely electric pink laptop you bigged up a little while ago?

"What's that you say? There's too much dust in the paint and so all you can give me right now is a, er, tuxedo black one."

Indeed, Dell's much-touted range of new colourful laptops, which were launched in a flurry of marketing publicity earlier this summer, have been hit by a manufacturing problem with the paint job which has led to a considerable shipment backlog.

On the firm's official blog Direct2Dell, senior VP Alex Gruzen said: "Right now, tuxedo black is the only colour that is consistently meeting our quality standards."

He explained that the firm had already discontinued its pearl white colour range because "we are just not able to produce the kind of volumes of high quality product that we need to support demand".

Gruzen added that the current shortage of parts such as LCD displays that has been hitting the computer-making industry in general, had significantly delayed the shipment of products, much to the chagrin of Dell customers.

He confirmed that, so far, Dell had shipped about 10 per cent of the systems affected.

The world's second largest computer vendor had launched the colour range, which is supposed to be available in a variety of vibrant greens, yellows, blues and pinks, for its Inspiron and XPS M1330 laptop models in an attempt to push up sales following a depressing downturn in its market share.

The latest manufacturing cock-up comes hot on the heels of other high-profile problems at the firm that have included recalling exploding batteries and an investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission into questionable accounting practices. ®

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