Dismissive Dell CEO not impressed with Apple Mac mini, calls iPod a ‘one-product wonder’ and a ‘fad’

“Dell has questioned Apple’s long-term business strategy, dismissing the iPod as a ‘fad’ and a ‘one-product wonder’ and claiming the new Mac mini won’t dent the PC market,” Andy McCue writes for Silicon.com. “In an interview with silicon.com at Dell’s Round Rock headquarters in Texas last week, CEO Kevin Rollins said the number of headlines Apple grabs does not worry him and that the company isn’t ‘in the same league’ as Dell.”

MacDailyNews Take: Of course Apple isn’t in the same league as Dell. Apple is not a commodity box assembler wholly dependent on another company to supply an operating system that strives unsuccessfully to be like a Mac. Hence Apple’s Mac platform works much more seamlessly and painlessly for their users.

“‘It’s interesting the iPod has been out for three years and it’s only this past year it’s become a raging success. Well those things that become fads rage and then they drop off. When I was growing up there was a product made by Sony called the Sony Walkman – a rage, everyone had to have one,’ [Rollins] said. ‘Well you don’t hear about the Walkman anymore. I believe that one product wonders come and go. You have to have sustainable business models, sustainable strategy,'” McCue reports.

MacDailyNews Take: Sony’s Walkmans played cassettes or CDs. Any player that played cassettes or CDs could do exactly the same things as a Sony Walkman. Apple’s iPod + iTunes cannot be replicated by others unless Apple lets them. Sony had no such advantage.

“Rollins was, not surprisingly, unimpressed with the Mac mini. ‘It might take some here and there, but Apple’s market share in the global computer business has really shrunk pretty far. Where they’ve been making success recently is not in the computer business, but in the iPod music business,’ he said. ‘So this might be an interesting new product but I’m not really believing this is going to turn the industry upside down.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Dell’s CEO sounds worried. He should be.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Michael Dell owes Apple an apology; Apple up 176 percent vs. Dell’s 13 percent in past 12 months – January 15, 2005


  1. Even though Sony’s product is not #1 anymore, isn’t everything (portable) that plays CD’s or cassettes still called a Walkman?

    Now, I am officially NOT worried about the future of iPod or the fate of Mac mini (not too far different than before). Michael Dell said a few years ago that (paraphrasing) ‘Apple should close up shop and give the return back to investors.’

    We all know what happened since then.

    And no, I haven’t forgiven him since. I’ll hold that grudge till the day I die…or Dell, Inc does. Whatever comes first.

  2. The walkman raged for probably a decade, and changed the game in terms of how people listened to their music. Yeah, it’s kind of dead now, but would Sony trade that 10-year-run for anything? I doubt it. Yes, the iPod will fade in the next several years–Apple’s job is to come up with the next killer product to fill the void when the inevitable decline begins.

  3. Quote: “You have to have sustainable business models, sustainable strategy.” – Dell is a PC assembler. No vision, no innovation. Every move they make has to be ‘approved’ by Microsoft.

    PC builders come and go. Remember Packard Bell, Compuadd, IBM, Gateway (death bed), Compaq (bought out), and slews of others.

    Dell is the current favorite – so what? If the industry (or consumer tastes) change, they will be in trouble.

  4. Once Sony Walkmans were very popular. That they aren’t popular anymore is not because they were fads. It’s because of bad decisions Sony made with their Walkman branding and also the devices they put on the market – they entered mp3 market way too because of the Minidisc. The bad decisions came after Mr. Sony died. After that, Sony didn’t know anymore what kind of products to put on the market and how to brand their products. Now every Sony portable product is called Walkman.

  5. I think Dell is scared. Apple has thrown a BIG wrench into its long term plans.

    Dell builds PCs. Currently they run Windows. Buy a Dell and get Windows. Linux is on the horizon, and Dell is banking BIG TIME that it will be the ‘next big thing’. Buy a Dell and get Linux. The point is that you still buy a Dell.

    Now, if consumers (and businesses) migrate to MacOS X instead of Linux, Dell loses – big time.

  6. It’s a shame that Sony died beccause their Walkman ceased to be the ‘cool’ gadget. They were such a good company. Let’s all share in a moment of silence for a company that had so much potential yet met an early demise because their ‘one’ product is no longer a ‘must have’. They will be missed.
    Hmmmm… Dell. It’s like paying for cancer!!
    Even if I were to ever buy another PC (for whatever god forsaken reason that may be) I would have more respect for myself and the money I was spending to buy one of their integrated litter boxes. Talk about someone that needs to close up shop! They give MicroSoft a bad name!!!
    I would say that this was my two cents but I don’t want Micheal being able to write that off as a donation!!
    And why in the hell would MDN give me the magic word “window”…?

  7. First Post! I DO feel the wave of euphoria, actually.

    I don’t think we should even bother with Dell’s opinions, or Microsoft’s, or Creative’s, because the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

    We’ll see who has a viable brand name in 10 years.

  8. The Sony Walkman (in all it’s different forms) has been on sale for over 25 years. Longer than Dell has been in existence!

    Even though it may not be ‘all the rage’ today, I don’t think you can call 25 years and over 300 million sold……a ‘fad’.

    As another poster has mentioned, Sony could still be at the top of the pile if they had got their act together when mp3s became the ‘rage’.

    Long live the Dell DJ !

  9. C’MON GUYS!

    Dell isn’t scared… I love Macs, I think they are great machines, don’t get me wrong, but Dell is not scared of the Mac Market. They are huge in the computer world. Go into a doctor’s office – they are all Dells.

    I really hope the Mac Mini does well, but it’s not going to put a dent into Dell. Someone has to be a litle bit realistic here on the forums!

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