Dell and Compaq have dumped their respective multicoloured PCs because they failed to emulate the success of Apple's iMac in the consumer market.
Dell claimed that the US-only sub-$1000 WebPC, which was launched in December, was an experiment that did not pan out. However, observers believe that the device's sleek design did not catch on with those buyers who are more interested in performance than aesthetics.
The Texas-based company is instead targeting the consumer market with a new range of Dimension PCs launched yesterday.
Compaq also said it is phasing out its multicoloured Presario 3500 system, unveiled late last year, because it was not popular with buyers, although it will continue to sell the device in Japan.
Both the WebPC and the Presario 3500 were launched to combat the success of Apple's iMac.
However, Dell said features from the WebPC, such as the colour-coded cables to simplify the connection of mouse and keyboard, and an 'e-support' button that links users directly to the company's helpdesk, will live on in new PCs.
The latest Dell Dimension 4100 series has a US entry-level price of $1229. It is based on Intel's 815E chipset that includes a 733Mhz Pentium III processor, 128Mb of PC133 SDRAM, a 10Gb hard drive, and comes with a 17in monitor.
The Dimension range has impressed some analysts. IDC analyst Roger Kay said: "It will definitely give the market a run for the money."
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