Years ago, when Apple was struggling, Michael Dell made the famous comment that Apple should just shut down. It looks like Dell's replacement, Kevin Rollins, isn't shy about making similarly demeaning comments about Apple as well. His latest is to claim that the iPod is just a fad, saying that it really only became successful in the last year (not quite true -- perhaps that's just when Dell finally realized something was happening). Still, while everyone else will focus on that Apple comment, what's even more revealing is his comparison to Sony: "When I was growing up there was a product made by Sony called the Sony Walkman--a rage, everyone had to have one. 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." Is he seriously suggesting that Sony was a "one-hit wonder" company? Besides, whether you agree with Apple's strategy or not, it seems pretty clear that they haven't banked everything on the iPod itself, but have put together a strategy that involves synergies across a variety of product lines, from their computers to the music players to the iTunes service. I'm not convinced it's the right strategy, but I'd hardly call it a one-hit wonder single product strategy either.
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