On October 6, 1997, in response to the question of what he’d do if he was in charge of Apple Computer, Dell founder and then CEO Michael Dell stood before a crowd of several thousand IT executives and answered flippantly, “What would I do? I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.”

A little more than a month later, on November 10, 1997, new Apple Interim CEO (iCEO) Steve Jobs responded, speaking in front of an image of Michael Dell’s bulls-eye covered face, “We’re coming after you, you’re in our sights.”

On January 13, 2006, after a little more than eight years of hard work, Apple Inc. passed Dell, Inc. in market value, $72.13 billion vs. $71.97 billion at market close, respectively.

On July 27, 2007, Apple’s value doubled that of Dell’s, $127.81 billion vs. $63.65 billion, respectively.

This morning in intraday NASDAQ trading, a mere four months after becoming twice as valuable as Dell, Apple’s market value passed 3 times that of Dell’s, $165.66 billion vs. $54.42 billion.

Got any snappy retorts for that one, Mr. Dell?

AAPL and DELL quotes via NASDAQ are here.