Michael Dell appeared on CNBCis Business Center yesterday evening to talk about his company’s fiscal 1st quarter results. During the interview, Michael Dell made the effort to take yet another jab at Apple and Steve Jobs. To be fair to Mr. Dell, he was baited into the conversation by Sue Herera, the co-anchor of Business Center who interviewed Steve Jobs earlier this week after Apple’s retail store announcement.
Ms. Herera noted that Dell Computer had so far resisted the move to open its own retail stores, unlike Gateway and Apple, and asked Mr. Dell if his company would ever consider doing so. “No, you know, we figured out 10 or 15 years ago that you don’t need stores to sell computers,” replied Mr. Dell. He added “We have stores; we call them online stores. Dell.com will generate close to US$20 billion in revenue for us this year. We think the best computer store in the world actually is at dell.com. Physical stores have been tried by a number of our competitors, and generally, actually I would say universally, that strategy hasn’t panned out.”
CNBC then commented that Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs, had compared the new iBook to Dell’s own consumer portable offering. Ms. Herera said that Mr. Jobs had said the iBook was better than Dellis portable because it was smaller, lighter, and had more features than Dell’s (this is where it gets a little cat-fightish). Mr. Dell replied with “All I got to say to Mr. Jobs is I loved Toy Story 2,” in a reference to Mr. Jobs other job (no pun intended) as the CEO of animation studio Pixar.
In a further example of not answering the question, he added “I mean, when you look at the education market, Dell is clearly the leader. As far as the trends in the industry, the trends are quite clear. Windows and Intel are winning. They [Apple] make a fine product, but it’s very, very clear what the trend in the market is. And Dell leads in the education market, and I don’t expect that’s going to change.”
So ended the interview.