Michael Dell owes Apple an apology; Apple up 176 percent vs. Dell’s 13 percent in past 12 months

“It was no less an expert than Michael Dell who forecast the demise of Apple Computer Inc. In 2001, the chairman and founder of the computer company that bears his name said Apple had sealed its fate by failing to build computers that used Intel Corp. microprocessors and software from Microsoft Corp. In sticking with its own proprietary technologies, Apple could not survive. ‘We know how the movie ends,’ Mr. Dell, now 39, said. ‘It’s just a question of what happens in the middle,'” David Akin writes for The Globe and Mail.

MacDailyNews Take: Oh, so now slapping together cheap components into commodity boxes devoid of imagination, depending wholly upon someone else’s mediocre OS, re-branding Creative’s MP3 players (but not selling many), and negotiating good shipping rates based on volume qualifies someone as an “expert?” Please, don’t get us started on Michael Dell. Uh oh, too late…

“But three years later, it is Apple – not Dell Inc. – that some say is now the best bet for investors interested in backing a computer maker,” Akin writes. “Long an ugly duckling for investors, the Cupertino, Calif., company has been the soaring swan of the market for the past year. Its stock is up 176 per cent in the past 12 months (it closed yesterday at $70.10 U.S.), compared with 13 percent for Dell. Apple already rivals Round Rock, Tex.-based Dell in manufacturing efficiency, and is poised to beat it on profit margins, earnings and revenue growth. On new product innovation, analysts say, Apple is unrivalled.”

MacDailyNews Take: Perhaps Mr. Dull should consider shutting it down and giving the money back to the shareholders? Now where’d we get that crazy idea? God knows, it would probably boost world productivity 30% if people dumped Windows running on box assembler Dell’s hardware and switched to Apple Macs running Mac OS X. And think of the IT staff savings alone!

“The much ballyhooed iPod digital music player has been an important part of Apple’s resurrection story; iPod sales went through the roof during 2004’s final quarter. But the bigger story may be Apple’s resurgence as a computer maker. According to financial results released this week, sales of Macintosh computers jumped 26 per cent compared with the year-earlier quarter – double the growth rate for the rest of the computer business. For the first time in eons, Apple is gaining market share. ‘The company could have begun a market share breakout story that could last for the foreseeable future,’ Steven Fortuna, an analyst at Prudential Equity Group LLC wrote in research note last week.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Michael Dell needs a head reduction, literally and figuratively. He’s a commodity Wintel box assembler who figured out how to do it cheaper than everybody else. Wow. Okay, so he got rich doing it – so did Mahlon Haines who got rich selling non-descript shoes. You know, Mahlon Haines? M-A-H… Oh, forget it. How will Dell be regarded by historians? Michael Dell is to Steve Jobs as William Henry Harrison is to George Washington. Michael Dell, if he’s really lucky, is destined to become a footnote in personal computer history.


  1. “Michael Dell, if he’s really lucky, is destined to become a footnote in personal computer history.”

    Yes, if he’s REEEAAALLy unlucky.

    Oh, if Mr. Dell should apologize to Steve “I park in Handicapped Spaces” Jobs, then Steve should apologize to the handicapped persons to which he denied access.

    Do I think Dell’s products are revolutionary, no. Do I think Dell is the master of manufacturing efficiency and marketing. Yes. Does Dell deserve to be respected as a business man, hell yes! And Steve Jobs deserves at least equal admiration for this business contributions. Steve probably learned quite a bit from Mr. Dell on how be efficient in manufacturing.

    Please, MDN, stick to news, not retarded commentary.

  2. It is sad that some people take the view that just making lots of money is a positive attribute, a worthy aim in it’s own right. There is nothing wrong with being financially rewarded for good work, nor with being very well rewarded for very good work but being well rewarded for poor work means that people have been short-changed, have received poor value. Those who profit from poor value should not be admired or respected.

  3. Dell used to make really good commercials before they fired their pot-head spokesperson.

    But seriously – I think there is a huge place for Dell. I’m a mainframe programmer and we use pee-cees mainly as dumb terminals with e-mail, word processing, spreadsheet and some internet capabilities. I think Dells will continue to find homes in cubes all across the globe. Then people will go home to their beloved macs!!

  4. Steve probably learned quite a bit from Mr. Dell on how be efficient in manufacturing.

    Nope. Dell’s secret is letting others take the ‘risks’ and then when a hit is established and commoditized, Dell jumps into the market.

    If it weren’t for risk takers like Apple …. who knows where the computer industry would be…

    Certainly Dell hasn’t contributed anything to the actual experience of computing.. (credit goes to MS and Developers for that)

  5. >>$6.5 million in the bank sounds like a company that either needs to pay investors a dividend or increase R&D (maybe by share some development costs with IBM on those G5s or nVidia on those video cards).

    It’s BILLION, with a B.
    It will be interesting to see what Apple does with that much cash. Acquistions? Some sort of R&D initiative… that’s a load of cash to work with…..

  6. We should not forget that not too long ago Dell were selling Apple’s iPods. They stopped doing this so that they could sell the Dell Jukebox instead. If that was not a bonehead move, I do not know what is. Dell would have made a lot more money selling iPods than selling Dell Jukeboxes.

  7. it’s weird seeing some folks bemoan the mac mini’s potential for introducing “joe sixpack” into the mac community… as if there exists some sort of homogenous community in the first place. even if such a community exists, just because there are more mac users doesn’t mean that it will end.

    if the mac mini increases the number of mac users, then this is good – period. the relative number of idiots using mac will not likely change, and the network effect of all these new users will be profound.

    magic word: “egalitarian”; the proportion of assholes to decent people is the same, regardless of the size of the crowd.

  8. Viridian
    It’s important to separate the personalities from their achievements.

    This was a very well thought out and enjoyable post. Thanks for the good read.

  9. Tommy Boy
    $6.5 million in the bank sounds like a company that either needs to pay investors a dividend or increase R&D (maybe by share some development costs with IBM on those G5s or nVidia on those video cards).

    As per what Fred said, that’s billion and not million. And I second the idea that R&D and aquisitions are in order. Apple looks like they have the Mac mini positioned to fit into many spaces that PCs are not currently capable of going. Into cars, and other vehicles, and into entertainment systems, for example. Cheap desktop PCs do not currently integrate into those areas.

    I see Apple furthering it’s lead into the music business by creating an ecosystem around the Mac mini that allows it to integrate right into a full featured stereo system on both the high and medium, and maybe even low end, and when you couple this with the possibility of integrating it into TV/DVR/DVD setup, more possibilities open up.

    POS systems and terminals hooked up to Apple’s XServes are another area that is enticing. The XServe is already very agressively priced for its market. Imagine Mac minis attached to monitors running POS systems in Target and Best Buy, and even Walmart? Apple could work with one of these large companies and offer them an insane discount and use them as a “guinne pig” to get them into that market. Can you imagine what would happen if Walmart used Mac minis as POS? Apple should be working on a very robust POS integration software right now, combine it with inventory tracking and retail management and acconting (grr the YEW key is bsted on this cap PC keyboard, jst went ot)…


    I need to get my friend a real compter…

  10. JACK A: That plugin is a good plugin unfortunately it does not view embedded fonts. You still have to use Adobe Acrobat in order to be able to see embedded fonts.

    I spoke with Schubert (the developer of the plugin) He says its on Apple’s end to fix it. Until then he cannnot update it to view embedded fonts.

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