Studies have shown it’s natural and healthy for males to have recurring fantasies. But still, the ones dancing around in Michael Dell’s head may be pushing things.
To hear Michael tell the tale, life is sweet. All this talk of a post-PC world doesn’t phase him. Quite the contrary. With HP leaving the PC business, his eyes light up at the idea of gaining PC market share. So it goes in his recent comments to Financial Times.
Only a few problems with Michael’s logic.
First is the fact that HP decided to get out of PCs for good reason. Even though they sell more PCs than any company on earth, HP believes the smartest thing they can do is abandon ship. That’s because (a) PC profit margins are microscopic, and (b) it’s only going to get worse as PCs continue their descent.
Second, it’s hard to deny that demand for PCs is fading. Not only have the prognosticators lowered their global sales estimates, so has Michael’s own company. It was just one month ago that Dell cut its sales forecasts for PCs, citing “weakening consumer demand” and other causes.
Third, Michael was publicly downplaying his PC sales as recently as April, making sure we were all aware that Dell was now more focused on the enterprise, with PCs only representing one third of their business. The most positive thing he could say about PCs was that Dell made a “modest profit” on them. “I’m just level-setting what Dell is today,” he said.
He speaks optimistically of Dell’s prospects in tablets too—despite the fact that the 5-inch Streak is dead and the 7-inch model is languishing at best. For some reason, Michael’s fantasy here is that things will somehow be different when and if the tablet competition heats up. In fact, Dell will be one of dozens of tablet-makers all sharing the same OS, slugging it out for a sliver of the market.
“We are very distinct from our competitors,” says Michael in that Financial Times interview. Hard to argue with that.
At least IBM and HP stopped having those PC fantasies.