Biting words on Apple come back to haunt Dell

“Michael Dell offered up some harsh advice a decade ago on how to fix struggling Apple Computer, words that now provide an ironic sting for the newly minted CEO of his own slumping company. ‘What would I do? I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders,’ he said at a technology conference in the fall of 1997,” Rachel Beck reports for Associated Press.

Beck reports, “Of course, Apple’s investors and Chief Executive Steve Jobs have gotten the last laugh. Back then, Jobs had just returned to lead the company he had founded, beginning what would become an exceptional transformation. Dell, on the other hand, has watched its business go the other way, and Michael Dell has been recalled to the helm to get it back on track.”

“His successor — and now predecessor — Kevin Rollins had a tough run. Under his tenure, the Round Rock, Texas-based company faced a string of disappointing earnings, while its market share slipped — it lost its No. 1 position in the PC industry to Palo Alto-based Hewlett-Packard last year,” Beck reports.

“Dell also faces an ongoing federal accounting probe and was just named in a class-action lawsuit that alleges its profits were inflated by secret payments of about $1 billion a year from chip maker Intel,” Beck reports. “Since topping $50 a share at the height of the dot-com boom, its stock hasn’t rallied as high since and today trades below $24.”

Beck reports, “With Apple on the upswing, and Dell certainly not, maybe it is time for Jobs to return the favor and give Michael Dell some advice. Chances are it won’t be something he would want to hear.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dion” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: On November 10, 1997, Apple’s then-interim CEO Steve Jobs, in response to Dell’s harsh advice spoke in front of an image of Michael Dell’s bulls-eye covered face and stated, “We’re coming after you, you’re in our sights.” He wasn’t kidding.

Dell is a dime-a-dozen PC box assembler. They offer nothing unique or innovative and their price advantage evaporated some time ago. If the company disappeared this afternoon, nobody outside of Dell employees and shareholders would care.

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50 Comments

  1. so wait, who’s worth more now? has apple completely surpassed Dell? because last I heard they were level, and one day Apple went just above and emailed everyone at Apple telling them… but I haven’t heard anything else.

  2. Aldo:

    I do like their Ultra Sharp monitors though, especially if you take a felt marking pin to black out the Dell logo.

    The only people I’ve ever met who say “pin” when they mean “pen” were from Texas? Are you? Perhaps from Round Rock?

    Typos aside, it’s fun to black out that which we don’t want to see. For me, it’s the lawyer ads on the back cover of the telephine book – black out the SOB’s eyes, a couple teeth, add some horns – he looks MUCH better.

  3. Qka:
    Not from Texas, I can blame the typo on Oakland public schools and the early morning state of mind. I know my spelling is bad because quite often the spell checker can’t figure out what I am writing.

  4. What I love is that this really points out the lack of forwarding thinking of Michael Dell. Hiring ultra-cheap labor and having a build-to-order foreign assembly line is all he has as a claim to fame. No actual product development, as the products have all been same-as-same-as – always taking queues from Apple as to what to copy (like everyone else). Their half-ass attempts at offering alternative operating systems have been just that, with no promotion or education around why folks should opt out of the 150+ extra for a Windows (pro/consumer/whatever) and save some money in the short and long term (don’t need to buy all the extra security software for life that Windows requires, infinite tech-support, etc.).

    Frankly, all and all, I see Michael Dell as someone who built and sold a lot of widgets. It could have been anything, nuts, bolts, etc. No product development, no class. They even fired that actor who played “Dell Dude” because he was caught with some pot. Real forward thinking, the folks at Dell are, get ready for them to swap over to selling something else soon, like brake pads, when people demand more than imitation with a second-rate OS.

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