Steve Jobs emails Apple team: Michael Dell not the best prognosticator, Apple worth more than Dell

“It may not be the last laugh, but on Friday afternoon, after the close of the stock market, Steven P. Jobs, the chief executive of Apple Computer, shared an e-mail chuckle with his employees at the expense of Dell, a big rival,” John Markoff reports in an article headlined “Michael Dell Should Eat His Words, Apple Chief Suggests” for The New York Times. “The message was prompted by the 12 percent surge in Apple’s stock price last week, which pushed the company’s market capitalization to $72.13 billion, passing Dell’s value of $71.97 billion.”

Markoff reports, “In 1997, shortly after Mr. Jobs returned to Apple, the company he helped start in 1976, Dell’s founder and chairman, Michael S. Dell, was asked at a technology conference what might be done to fix Apple, then deeply troubled financially. ‘What would I do?’ Mr. Dell said to an audience of several thousand information technology managers. ‘I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.'”

Markoff reports, “On Friday, apparently savoring the moment, Mr. Jobs sent a brief e-mail message to Apple employees, which read: ‘Team, it turned out that Michael Dell wasn’t perfect at predicting the future. Based on today’s stock market close, Apple is worth more than Dell. Stocks go up and down, and things may be different tomorrow, but I thought it was worth a moment of reflection today. Steve.'”

Full article here.
Markoff reports, “Dell executives did not return calls over the weekend asking for comment on Apple’s rising fortunes.” Apparently Michael Dell’s foot is still lodged in his mouth. He’d better get to work clearing the way for his hat and some crow. After he’s finished dining, his advisors ought to strongly recommend he keep advice for Apple to himself from now on.

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Related articles:
Apple now worth more than Dell – January 13, 2006
Apple primed to pass Dell in market value – January 12, 2006
Corporate IT buyers fuming that Apple has Intel Core Duo Macs shipping while Dell and HP wait – January 12, 2006
Financial Times: Dell and Microsoft can never hope to attain Apple’s Mac aura – January 10, 2006
Struggling Dell has lost its mojo while Apple shows rapid growth – November 07, 2005
Apple growing faster with more innovative products, better support than ‘one-trick pony’ Dell – November 01, 2005
IDC: Apple shows rapid growth, holds 4.3% U.S. market share on 48% growth – October 17, 2005
Michael Dell say’s he’d be happy to sell Apple’s Mac OS X if Steve Jobs decides to license – June 16, 2005
Why buy a Dell when Apple ‘Macintel’ computers will run both Mac OS X and Windows? – June 08, 2005
Apple Macs are less expensive than Dell PCs – April 25, 2005
Dell CEO: Apple can’t just have one product and then say they’re the innovative leader of the world – February 22, 2005
BusinessWeek: Rather than dismissing Apple products as fads, Dell should try starting a few – January 31, 2005
Dismissive Dell CEO not impressed with Apple Mac mini, calls iPod a ‘one-product wonder’ and a ‘fad’ – January 17, 2005
Michael Dell owes Apple an apology; Apple up 176 percent vs. Dell’s 13 percent in past 12 months – January 15, 2005


  1. Yes, Dell’s foot is in his mouth and his head is in his backside.
    I hope that he eats himself from the inside out.
    But really though this is good news for us Mac users.
    Just think how good we would feel if Apple advertised as much as Dell. Talk about market share….

  2. With Intels manufacturing muscle I suspect that new Mac release delays will become shorter and less challenged than ever before as the year progresses. I look for Apple to start advertising a bit more as they adopt to the new full supply chain and the opportunites it offers.

  3. what a way to motivate your workers! let’s keep up all the GREAT work apple employees and steve continue to give the insight they need to produce great work.

  4. Mikey is a master repackager that crushes competitors by selling cheap. The long term problem with that strategy is that it doesn’t allow for improvements in the product.

    This is expecially important when you are repackaging industry standard parts with a Windows controller. Someone may take those industry standard parts and control them with something better, say OSX.

    When that happens, your cheap price actually reflects the value in your product, and the maker of something better (just like cream) rises to the top.

  5. The new world economy has no patience for those who sell just commodities. Dell is about to be eaten by the very way it made its living–that now belongs to China. It is the age of value added businesses to make a difference and thrive and that is familiar ground to Apple. Those leaders that lack a vision are suddenly so quiet–that’s the sound of their fear.

  6. Tangential, but related– anyone notice the barrage of iMac tv advertisements yesterday on number of networks. Apple is finally advertising and staged to grow even more.

  7. I just ate an iMac for lunch at McDonalds.

    Tasty, but I think it had been hanging around for a while. It still had a PowerPC processor. Tasted like a bad pickle.

    Yeah. But I ate it with gusto.

    MW: stop – as in: Stop me before I eat another one!

  8. This is a good psycological reward, after all if people believe they can win they will.

    Also it could turn the tide of public opinion, right now Dell has a lot of mindshare, this is valuable info to counter that perception.

    Dell of course pumps out many more computers than Apple, more market share, but Dell is also in dept for a few million and Apple is foaming in cash to the tune of several billion.

  9. What I find interesting is the Steve sends out emails to people in his company….and this is the first one “leaked”.

    Where did this reporter get the internal e-mail? Why haven´t we seen more Stevemails???

  10. I installed a Bose 5.1 theater system today and the quality reminded me of Apple products. Care of packaging and how well everything is marked gives people the warm fuzzies. I’m certainly recommending them. Did we pay more, bet your butt, but I’m quite happy. The Bose system now handles the DSS and DVD playing, now I can forget about my 3 other remotes.

    They still need some help with simplifying the remote, but it’s much better than most. It white so you can see it. Amazing!

    Why can’t most companies make decent products? Because to the owners, it’s not about the product, it’s about money. So if you have a whole bunch of money you can buy a whole bunch of crap. What’s the point?

    Whatever you do, do it beautifully.

  11. In a way, we owe a lot to Dell. Before him, PC’s were individual and distinctive, to the extent that Tandys and PS/2’s were almost major hardware platforms in and of themselves. Afterwards, PC’s are commodity boxes each indistinguishable from each other. Thanks to him, Apple’s design really shines above the rest.

  12. There are threads on Appleionsider and Applenova )I think about the advertisements. They were on ABC, Fox…

    Cool stuff. Notice too that Jobs has made some very public statements lately?

    The winds are shifting, friends…

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