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Who'd a thunk?

January 14, 2006

A perceptive Slashdotter notes that we just witnessed a remarkable turn of events in the computer business. Consider:

October 6, 1997: "When it comes to the state of Apple Computer, everyone has an opinion. And at the Gartner Symposium and ITxpo97 here today, the CEO of competitor Dell Computer added his voice to the chorus when asked what could be done to fix the Mac maker. His solution was a drastic one. 'What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders,' Michael Dell said before a crowd of several thousand IT executives."

January 13, 2006: Apple's market value surpasses Dell's:

Dell: $71,970,702,760

Apple: $72,132,428,843

It's good to know that fortune's fickleness remains intact.

Comments

agree the Apple turnaround is stunning. But will it repeat its sins? Rarely do companies get such a second chance. Will Apple keep to its niche or will be become a much broader enterprise player - a Porsche or a Toyota as I ask in this post I did earlier in week

http://dealarchitect.typepad.com/deal_architect/2006/01/the_enigmac.html

Posted by: vinnie mirchandani at January 14, 2006 12:21 PM

Today, the Complete Dividend Solution is more appropriate to a Microsoft/Dell than Apple.

My case in point is the Kafka-esque way Microsoft officials conducted themselves in the Senate Chambers of Massachusetts and in the Boston Globe across the holidays as they tried to kill the ETRM 3.5 policy for OpenDocument. The policy not only survives but points up how Microsoft continues to play on the public's ostensible lack of understanding of the difference between Open Source and Open Standards; between OpenOffice and OpenDocument and between an Open XML format and a feaux format called Office "Open" XML. The latter is the Vista-tied format of Office "12" which cannot possibly be considered open by any stretch.

If Microsoft continues going down these false paths in the hopes that the public simply cannot grasp the complexity, they are in for an existential crisis that will call for a Complete Dividend.

Posted by: Sam Hiser at January 15, 2006 10:16 AM

Umm.. they recovered by selling shiny, overpriced music players instead of shiny, overpriced computers. I'd hardly call them a computer company anymore.
(despite what you fanboys like to think, Apple's sales of computers has been pathetic and getting worse)

Posted by: thepooh at January 15, 2006 12:52 PM

I would vote however that most of the $72 Billion that Apple is worth is a large part because of iPods...something that Dell hasn't bothered with.

Posted by: Cybermagellan at January 15, 2006 02:45 PM

Wait, did I just hallucinate the Dell Jukebox and Dell Ditty? I didn't realize that my Apple zealotry was so advanced.

No it appears that they *did* produce half-hearted rip-offs of the iPod range:

Dell product page and some commentary.

World weary cynicism is so easy when you don't bother with facts.

(For bonus points: Apple is only rumoured to begin selling flat panel TVs, Dell already does so)

As for Apple's computer sales, while it is easy to look at Wintel vs. Apple marketshare, it's a bit more complicated to actually see who is making money from selling PCs (apart from Microsoft, that is). I believe the only computer sellers making good money recently have been, drumroll please, Apple and Dell.

Posted by: dave at January 17, 2006 07:23 AM

thepooh: Apple's computer sales have been going up, not down, for the last two years. Thanks for trying.

Posted by: Dan at January 17, 2006 11:24 AM

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