∞ Dell should sell the company and give money to the shareholders

I’ll never forget Michael Dell’s comments at a 1997 technology conference when asked what he would do to fix Apple. iphone3gs“What would I do?” said Dell. “I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.”

Well, it seems like the shoe is on the other foot now. Perhaps it’s time that Dell think about turning out the lights, selling the company and giving the money back to the shareholders.

I was amazed yesterday when news hit that Dell would enter the U.S. smartphone market, taking on Apple with a touchscreen device. That proves that Dell has learned nothing over the years.

Instead of launching yet another product doomed to failure and aimed at knocking Apple off its pedestal, why not focus on fixing the problems you have now.

It’s not like Dell hasn’t tried this strategy before. Do you remember the name of Dell’s MP3 player — the one that would overtake the iPod? Me neither, but I looked it up.

It was called the Dell DJ. If you go to the Dell DJ Web page now, they are selling all kinds of MP3 players — everything except the Dell DJ and the iPod.

It’s completely unfair to compare quarterly earnings for Apple and Dell, because fiscal quarters are different for each company — they are not based on the calendar year.

What I will look at is the market capitalization. Apple’s market capitalization is $143.3 billion, more than five times Dell’s $27.3 billion. In fact, Apple’s market capitalization is now bigger than Dell’s and HP’s combined.

Dell sells cheap computers, but Apple’s sales continue to rise. Dell sold a cheap MP3 player, but Apple dominates the market. Now, Dell is going to sell a cheap smartphone, hoping to take the wind out of Apple’s sails.

It’s not going to work.