Hardware is back, but where’s Dell?

Posted on January 16, 2006 
Filed Under Uncategorized

John Markoff in the New York Times:

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.”

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.”


Markoff makes an interesting point about Apple’s market capitalization pushing past Dell at $72.13 billion against $71.97 billion.

Apple sold a record 14 million iPod music players in the past quarter, according to Jobs, an astounding figure by any measure.

It sold 1.25 million computer and server systems in the last quarter of 2005, marking a 19.5 per cent increase over the same period last year.

For fiscal 2005, Apple generated revenue of $13.93 billion, a figure that will definitely be surpassed on the strength of its last two quarters.

By comparison Dell has warned it will fail to meet its goal of $60 billion in revenue for its 2006 fiscal year, which ends in February, after missing revenue targets in both its second and third quarters this year.

Interestingly, Microsoft sold 600,000 Xbox 360s since November, according to analyst group NDP but is expected to fall short of its 4.5 million to 5.5 million target by June this year.

Without an iPod/iTunes killer or an XBox killer in its product range, one wonders what Dell will conjure up this year to make the brand more sexy. We all know that the limited edition, high-priced products are not the answer.

Perhaps, a hit on Markoff may be on the cards.


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