Stop the Noiz

Why Apple Should Buy Dell

Frank Fox - 2008.11.24 - Tip Jar

Almost everyone knows that Apple is sitting on a huge pile of cash, around $24.5 billion. That might be enough to fill one of Scrooge McDuck's cash vaults, but there have to be some other interesting things to do with that much money.

While feeling depressed about how low the value of Apple stock has fallen recently (below $90 per share), I checked out some other companies that are falling due to the same economic worries. There I saw the perfect company that is finally cheap enough that Apple can buy the whole thing: Dell.

That's right, Dell has a market capitalization of only $18.55 billion. Apple can buy it and still have money left over.

Current Dell valuation

Before you go and say that I'm crazy, ask yourself what could Apple do with Dell.

First off, there is the total shock value it would have on the PC market and Microsoft - but at the same time Apple and Dell combined are not large enough to be considered a monopoly in the market. HP, Toshiba, Acer, Sony, etc. would still account for around 75% of the market. However, it would be large enough to muster incredible dominance without appearing that way on paper.

Second, Apple has needed an enterprise strategy for decades. Adding Dell would put Apple into corporations all around the world. IT managers would be buying Dell branded computers from Apple - either these narrow-minded drones would keep buying the same way they have for the last decade, or they'd have to do some real price shopping for a change. I'm betting on inertia having the greater strength.

Third, Apple would have another brand that it could use for selling low spec PC with Mac OS X installed without diluting its own brand value. The cheap stuff is labeled Dell, and everyone knows what to expect, while the higher tier PCs (over $1,000) get the Apple sticker. Apple can still draw in the more affluent crowd while using Dell to provide for the rest.

That's what I call picking up the pennies under the seat cushion.

fourth, the irony of the deal would be unmistakable.

Then again, Apple could just wait a few more months and buy Dell when it drops below $5 a share, saving a few billion to spend on more important things - like HP (currently $87 billion) or Sony ($40 billion). LEM

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