Say That Again

by Mike Masnick

Dell Says Sony Was A One Hit Wonder?

from the well,-sure... dept

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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Jared, Jan 18th, 2005 @ 10:32am

    Appeal to trends

    It may be tredny, but that's how companies make money, sad to say.

    I personally find MP3 players ridiculous to due their expensiveness and the fact that I don't ever have a use for portable music. But, that's in my personal life, not everyone else's. Some people feel the need to carry their tunes on them at all time to help them feel trendier.

    The Ipod seems stupid to me. A 40-60GB player for $400? I'm personally going to use the money for something else. Again, that's just me.

    MS isn't appealing to trendy crowds like Apple is, and that's why the media is praising Apple right now. Apple made a popular MP3 player, so all attention is locked on their future products. Will it help their sales? Of course, but it won't be so drastic that the market shifts over night.

    If you can supply normal end-users with a trendy way to do things, then you have their money. Otherwise, you're finding yourself in MS' position as being called by the media to have "lack of ingenuity," and other ridicules.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    RJD, Jan 18th, 2005 @ 11:13am

    more revealing

    Think his comments about how dell is focused on businesses (ie NOT CONSUMERS) should also be noted. Dell is a good company to deal with if your a business. If your a consumer, you aren't held in such high regard by them. Anyone been subjected to their tech support for consumers lately ? Painful doesn't begin to describe it.

    Also, Mr. Rollins should note that both Cisco and Oracle have recently adopted Apples Xserve and Raid products for parts of their backoffice operations .... the ipod is only a small segment and it serves a very valid purpose ... getting people who work and run those companies dell is after to notice that Apple does put out 'insanely great' products. Including products for the business. Wanna do a price comparison of Dell's Storage solution to Apples Mr. Rollins ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Chomper, Jan 18th, 2005 @ 11:19am

    No Subject Given

    ah yes, the Dell Jukebox is blazing a trail for Dell...=P

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Andrew Klossner, Jan 18th, 2005 @ 2:45pm

    Dell's customer service

    Anyone been subjected to their tech support for consumers lately?

    I have. Have you?

    Painful doesn't begin to describe it.

    Indeed not. Brief, effective, and pleasant, however, describe it quite adequately.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Jared, Jan 18th, 2005 @ 3:20pm

    Re: Dell's customer service

    Well, I know a couple people who have ordered things, and even those within my department at work, and they said they have had some trouble with Dell. Just little things, but never with a negative attitude. So, for me, I've been given the impression that lately they're going through some minor issues with customer service. They still have good PCs, though. I chalk it up to holiday rush for now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    dorpus, Jan 18th, 2005 @ 4:37pm

    Sony does suck

    Akio Morita's company was already starting to go south in his later years. They invested vast sums of money, like $1 billion, in ESP research, but they lacked the psionic abilities to predict its inevitable failure. My family knows the executive who was responsible for that, too.

    Sony's primary strength at this point is its marketing muscle, appealing to the psychology of 18-25 year olds (a shrinking consumer segment in rich countries). They haven't come out with any interesting products in many years. They just made overpriced consumer electronics with too many buttons on it, that nobody wants.

    Sony once broke the mould of Japanese companies for being agressive, risk-taking, and innovative, but it has long turned into a groupie outfit of media-wannabe business types. Over in Japan, there's a whole generation/crowd of these media-wannabe types, who stereotypically go to work for either Sony or Dentsu (world's largest advertising agency). When I was in Tokyo a few weeks ago, Sony had rented out some expensive floor space in Ginza (ritzy shopping district) to advertise their ipod clone product, but the showroom was deserted. Down the street, ipod exhibits were booming (however long they last).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    dorpus, Jan 18th, 2005 @ 4:42pm

    Re: Sony does suck

    The whole ESP thing happened because the executive and his family got caught up in this cult-like movement, "Nishino Sensei's dojo". It's a martial arts dojo in Tokyo where people pay $100 per session to practice throwing each other across the floor using their "ki" power, and I even translated their (very fake) demonstration video into English, with a really stupid-looking Hawaiian guy and a blonde gym teacher type raving about it. I had to translate their pamphlet, which was even worse, where the sensei claimed he could heal cancer patients with his psychic powers, and a hospital patient in a coma had an incredible shit attack in his presence, which then "cured" his illness because the "poison got out of his body".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    aNonMooseCowherd, Jan 18th, 2005 @ 10:16pm

    marketing slush

    Messages from marketing people are intended to get people to buy their companies' products. Why would assume that there's any truth in them, or that they are even intended to be truthful?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    LEF, Jan 19th, 2005 @ 11:29am

    No Subject Given

    I would hardly call the walkman a "one-hit wonder" From a product standpoint, it ushered in a total paradigm shift for how users interact with machines that play music or other audio content. Without the walkman, we would not have had portable CD players, and even the iPod. Sony created an entirely new market, provided the inital products and spawned demand for portability. Since then, well, they've had their ups and downs, but haven't all companies

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.