If you have never heard of Alienware, then you are not alone. This company is a subsidiary of Dell Incorporated and is an American personal computer hardware company that mainly assembles important third party components into those desktops with custom enclosures. This is normally for the purpose of high performance gaming. Their products are also able to support applications such as simulation, audio editing and video editing that are normally graphically intense. The company also offers the sale of rebadged computer peripherals such as computer mice, headsets, keyboards and monitors as well as the sale of rebadged laptops. The company was founded by Alex Aquila and Nelson Gonzalez in 1996, and its corporate headquarters are located in an unincorporated area of Miami-Dade County that is west of the city of Miami, known as Kendal, Florida. The name comes from the founder’s love of The X-Files television series that was very popular at the time, and lends an alien theme to their products, evidenced by names such as Hangar18, Aurora, Area-51 and m15x.
When the company was first established, it was done to tap into an industry that was not yet on the radar of larger computer manufacturers, this new industry was high performance gaming. This high end hardware was not usually being distributed, and it is that high performance along with the sci-fi based designs and names that helped propel Alienware onto the scene. As the larger personal computer companies began to take notice of this new industry, Dell set its sights on Alienware. It lingered there for 4 years before taking action in March of 2006, agreeing to buy the company, allowing it to maintain its autonomy only in terms of marketing and design. However, this was great for Alienware, because their newfound access to Dell’s purchasing power, economies of scale and supply chain would effectively lower their operating costs.
Traditionally, Alienware saw most of its competition coming from companies such as AVA Direct, Falcon Northwest, Sager Notebook Computers, Velocity Micro, Puget Systems and VoodooPC. Before their Dell acquisition, one of their top competitors was also the Dell XPS gaming systems. Operations span across the world, and the EMEA headquarters in Ireland was established in October of 2002. As of 2005 Alienware had brought over $170 million in annual sales, all while undertaking another international expansion initiative. This was to maintain a strong presence in Canada, Germany, Costa Rica, Australia, France, and the United Kingdom. Also, the Alienware Company offered customers the change to send in their old computer hardware in order to give them credit towards the purchase of new hardware.
Their products were utilized in Dells XPS line of high performance gaming pc’s, and were widely touted as the next best thing, while still selling computers with the same basic specifications not named under the XPS line. It is perhaps this over saturation that proved to hurt Alienware’s market shares within their high end marketing segment. Since then, Dell has gone through corporate restructuring, and the old line of XPS high performance gaming server PCs has been scaled down considerably. While you can still find Alienware in Dell products, the future for this company remains unclear. In March of 2009, they even announced that they were considering the closure of several of its manufacturing bases, located in Miami in the United States and Athlone in Co Westmeath.