LAS VEGAS, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Dell Inc DELL.O, the world’s second-largest maker of personal computers, on Friday introduced a 10-inch netbook and gave a very brief, sneak peek of its new ultra-thin laptop PC.
The new black laptop called “Adamo,” which means in Latin to fall in love with, is expected to compete in the ultra-light segment of the PC market against rivals like Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) Macbook Air.
Dell said it would begin shipping Adamo in the first half of 2009 but declined to give any pricing or specs for the computer, which was briefly shown to reporters at an event at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. [ID:nN05368327]
“Adamo will be the new luxury franchise in the Dell brand line-up,” said Michael Tatelman, vice president of consumer sales and marketing at Dell.
The Round Rock, Texas-based company also unveiled a 10-inch netbook to join its 9-inch and 12-inch netbooks.
Netbooks, smaller and more affordable than traditional laptops, are the fastest-growing part of the PC market. A host of netbooks were unwrapped at CES, including models by Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N), Sony Corp (6758.T) and Lenovo Group(0992.HK).
When asked whether Dell was worried that the popularity of netbooks would eat into sales of more expensive laptops, Tatelman said: “It’s a little bit too early to tell whether netbooks will cannibalize or be a companion device and bring more people into the market.”
Many analysts see Dell as vulnerable to the global economic slowdown due to its exposure to the weakening PC market. Dell said on Thursday it would move its European manufacturing base from Ireland to Poland and cut 1,900 of 3,000 jobs at its Limerick plant, as part of a $3 billion cost-reduction plan announced last year.
Dell cut more than 8,000 jobs in 2008 and has struggled to regain market share it lost to market leader HP. Falling demand for computers is hitting the entire industry; Lenovo forecast a quarterly loss on Thursday and said it would cut 2,500 jobs. (Reporting by Gabriel Madway, writing by Tiffany Wu, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)