- Dell calls iPod a 'fad', dismisses Mac mini
One of the things that I find most amusing as someone who closely follows the happenings in the Mac universe is that when most companies make product announcements (if they even both going to such trouble) - they are typically met with a rousing Ho Hum from the rest of planet. (Can you recall the last time Dell introduced anything that was even remotely close to news worthy?) However, take a look around the time of the Spring or Summer MacWorld Expo when Apple typically makes their big product announcements and there is more ink spilled (not to mention television coverage) about whatever Apple announced that it's no wonder why they truly do blaze the trail for whatever the rest of the industry is going to do for the next year. Like it or hate it - they get the press which is an amazing feat when you consider it in the context that most PC folk do (Apple's market share).
The vast majority of the people I work with live in the PC universe (hey, that's what corporate IT put on my desk!) and most of them think of their computers like they think of their toasters (as a tool) but that not withstanding, I'd had many people come up and talk to me today about the announcements out of Cupertino - mainly around the iPod Shuffle and Mac Mini. Hearing so much buzz on the street, it was only a matter of time before someone from one of the other major PC companies opened his mouth and said something stupid. Well folks, the wait is over, Dell to the rescue!
Dell calls iPod a 'fad', dismisses Mac mini
Yes, from the true band of me-too companies, Dell has called the iPod a fad and dismissed the Mac Mini. Fair enough. What do you expect them to say - "Holy shit, this Mac Mini thing is one amazing little computer for a fair price!" Nah, they don't have to worry - the people who buy cheap crap will always buy cheap crap, typically from the same manufacture that their friends and co-workers buy it from but what I recalled was another similar statement from Michael Dell a few years back.
In that little gem of a statement: What would Dell Computer CEO Michael Dell do if he should wake up one morning as Steve Jobs, acting CEO of Apple Computer? Clearly a fate too ghastly to contemplate, Dell at first attempted to duck the question, put to him Monday by a panel of analysts here at the Gartner Group's conference on the future of information technology.
"I hope that will never happen to me," Dell said. But just pretend he WAS Steve Jobs, what would he do, the interrogators persisted.
"I would shut down Apple and give the shareholders their money back," Dell said, to a mixture of applause and boos from the more than 7,000 IT managers in the audience.
.... How's that stock doing today Mr. Dell? (Apple is up like what 180% for the year). At the time of this comment (10/06/97) - it was surely a really rough period for Apple - their products more or less sucked, they were loosing money hand over fist but Steve Jobs was now partially on board as their acting CEO. Little did we know that but a few short years later, the seeds planted by Steve were starting to bear some serious fruit. OSX, the iMacs, iPods, Powerbooks, Xserves, iTunes Music Store, etc..etc.. they guys are creating some seriously good gear and an operating system that absolutely embarrasses Windows. So when a guy from Dell makes some loud mouthed statement casually dissing Apple, I don't pay it a lot of mind and neither should you. At the $499 price point, Apple will no doubt steal a few trivial sales from Dell but what you might miss this quarter is the net effect of these lost sales 5 years from now when all of the Mac Mini buys have discovered what the Mac community already know and then they tell their friends, families and co-workers and before you know it - these little minis are everywhere and people really start to see what a computer can really be like.
All I can say to the folks at Dell - keep it coming, we love your clueless comments. It shows us once again how little you think about your customers and your markets. Apple looks at a problem and comes up with truly innovative solutions that people actually want. Dell, well, they just stick their name on the latest cheap-o gadget that many buy but few actually want. As for me, no thanks, I'd rather have high quality, extremely innovative - fun to use products that don't suck. Buy hey, that's just me.
- 2:48:04 PM