BusinessWeek’s Hesseldahl: Gartner report that Apple should license Mac OS to Dell belongs in trash

“What, did I fall into a time machine back to 1997? You know those days when Apple was the computer industry’s hard luck case, and when the triumvirate of Microsoft, Intel and Dell were on their way to conquering the world? Well that was nine years ago, and if Apple’s earnings report plus a few other industry indicators didn’t suggest that times have changed a great deal then you’re just not paying attention,” Arik Hesseldahl blogs for BusinessWeek.

Hesseldahl blogs, “To sum up: Apple’s now a nearly $20 billion company on an annual sales basis; It sold 5.3 million Macs worldwide, and in the U.S. market is now within less than 40,000 units of overtaking Gateway as the third largest PC vendor. Meanwhile Hewlett-Packard has eclipsed Dell as the world’s biggest PC vendor, Intel is fighting off a serious competitive threat from rival Advanced Micro Devices, and Microsoft, is still turning out second-rate computer operating systems, and constantly missing delivery date targets on its major upgrades.”

“So what’s to complain about? Well, this. Here we have a report from Gartner, the uber-IT consultant firm, saying that Apple should license the Mac OS to Dell, and stop making hardware,” Hesseldahl blogs. “Yes. Read that one again. My head hurts at all the many things that are wrong with this argument, that I don’t know even where to start. But I’ll do my best.”

“‘Whether Apple’s Steve Jobs would sanction any of the suggestions made by Gartner is hard to gauge,’ the report [states]… Yes, I can think of many “sanctions” that Steve Jobs might have in mind for Gartner report this subject: The first would be putting in the trash where it belongs.”

Full article “What Would We Do Without Analysts?” here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “LinuxGuy and Mac Prodigal Son” for the heads up.]

Related article:
Gartner: Apple should quit hardware business and license Mac OS X to Dell – October 18, 2006


  1. I can see Apple becoming the acknowledged leading premier PC vendor within the next two years, with a reputation of building only the very best equipment. If you want the best, buy an Apple.

    This won’t change HP or Dell. They will build the cheapest equipment using yesterday’s processors and components and sell to the low end. There’s a huge market there, but the margins are thin.

    Also, Apple has yet to develop a bladeserver, and this is a growing market segment. If they want to compete in the datacenter they will need to produce a bladeserver.

    I could see Apple hitting 15% market share, taking the high end and some middle ground, but never the whitebox business. Would they really even want it? The margins will only grow thinner.

    The home entertainment center, with PC functionality and multimedia capability, will probably be their main thrust in 2007. Maybe we should really be discussing what portion of the TV market Apple will take, as the traditional TV is obsoleted by the MacTV with flatscreen display.

  2. Gary,

    I think you have an interesting perspective. Even so, I’m already sensing a kind of weariness from Apple and from Mac users being pigeon-holed into a ubiquitous entertainment market share. To be sure, its obvious that Apple is staying cautiously close to the bleeding edge of that market segment, but I believe, as I always have, that any real market-share redemption for the Macintosh is going to have to start with the enterprise corner of the market place, (for a lot of perceptual reasons).

    In fact, there are already anecdotal indications that small and medium size businesses are encorporating, or at least seriously considering doing so, the Mac platform into their IT production lines – notably at the head end where experienced IT pros are more and more growing weary of dealing with Windows security issues.

    If we begin to see and identify tangible Macintosh desktop growth in the workplace, which becomes more likely if more businesses have Macs running their server rooms, I think we will in turn begin to see significant overall market share growth for Apple’s computer lines.

    I really think Apple is showing the better part of wisdom by staying on top of the entertainment market place, but their industrial strength server systems are second to none, and the IT world has already begun to take objective notice.

  3. Hopefully this market-share gain will translate into more niche programs being written natively for the Mac. Like AutoCad, or any of the big CAD programs that I hear people whining about all the time. And some more games would be nice. That’s what I’m looking for in the next year. More developers.

  4. When firms the size of MS and Dell start sinking, it’s not just their problem–it’s everyone’s, because of the amount of dollars invested. These people will do or say anything to buy a little more time.

    Way to go Hesseldahl! Keep ’em honest!!

  5. as the traditional TV is obsoleted by the MacTV with flatscreen display.


    The whole point of iTv is to avoid having a pc hooked up to your tv. A dedicated computer for the living room television is a waste of resources.. Apple has solved the problem with iTv.

    There won’t be any MacTv’s. It’s a dumb idea.

  6. For as long as I can remember, predictions by analysts concerning Apple’s fortunes or prospects have been so ludicrously wide of the mark that it’s hard to imagine why anybody pays attention to them.

    But even by the extremely low standards generally found amongst analysts, this suggestion from Gartner stands in a league of it’s own when it comes to stupidity.

    I don’t imagine for a second that anybody at Apple will be taking advice from anybody outside of Apple and as a shareholder with a worthwhile stake in Apple, I hope they never do. Apple are currently the number 4 computer seller in the US and last quarter made more profit than numbers two and three combined. That doesn’t sound like a bad position to be in, so Hesseldahl is quite right to denounce Gartner’s idiotic pontifications.

    John Gruber also denounced Garner in his latest Daring Fireball essay, nominating them Jackasses of the Week.

  7. Bladeservers will soon be on their way out. With multi-core processors, VMWare and similar virtualisation solutions will become faster, to the point where a single 1U XServe can perform the same as 7U of blade servers.

    Apple don’t need to put resources into that one. Might as well develop the iFax.

  8. Compared to some of the other lame ideas about “What Apple Should Do” like the Dvorak ideas for instance, this one makes sense because Gartner realizes that the Mac is not the hardware, it’s OS X.

    I don’t buy Macs because of the hardware. The hardware is the icing on the cake. I love that I can get OS X on splendid Apple hardware, but I’d be just as satisfied running it on a Sony Vaio.

    It ain’t about the box.

    It’s about the OS.

  9. “BusinessWeek’s Hesseldahl: Gartner report that Apple should license Mac OS to Dell belongs in trash”

    I’ve said before now. And I’ll say it again:

    Gartner Group are a bunch a hoes . I don’t mean the expensive call girls. I mean the cheap 10 cent type.

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