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Dell CEO Rounds Up Fightin' Words

Dell CEO Rounds Up Fightin' Words

by , 2:45 PM EST, January 18th, 2005

In an interview with silicon.com, Dell CEO Kevin Rollins called the iPod a "fad" and a "one-product wonder."

Curiously, Rollins chose to compare the iPod to Sony's Walkman of yesteryear.

"It's interesting the iPod has been out for three years and it's only this past year it's become a raging success. Well those things that become fads rage and then they drop off. When I was growing up there was a product made by Sony called the Sony Walkman a rage, everyone had to have one," he said. "Well you don't hear about the Walkman anymore. I believe that one product wonders come and go. You have to have sustainable business models, sustainable strategy."

Of course, the cassette-based Walkman that everyone knows faded away when cassettes did, and Sony has sold more than 360 million since the product debuted. The adoption of Apple's iPod has also outpaced that of the original Walkman.

Rollins did add, however, that Apple has "done a nice job" with the iPod, perhaps because his company's competing Dell DJ product has failed to take off after almost two years on the market.

Moving on to the Mac mini, the Dell CEO said he doesn't believe it will take any real market share away from the PC market.

"It might take some here and there, but Apple's market share in the global computer business has really shrunk pretty far. Where they've been making success recently is not in the computer business, but in the iPod music business," he said. "So this might be an interesting new product but I'm not really believing this is going to turn the industry upside down."

The full interview will be available later this week.

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