Dell vs. Apple: 10 Years Later


Philip Elmer-DeWitt is a senior editor at Fortune.

It was 10 years ago that Michael Dell, speaking before several thousand technology executives at ITxpo97 in Orlando, answered a question about what he would do if he were CEO of Apple with a remark he probably instantly regretted:

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." (link)

As others have noted, Apple's (AAPL) market capitalization today is more than double that of Dell (DELL):

Apple: $140.4 billion

Dell: $62.27 billion

But don't shed a tear for Micheal Dell. According to a list of the 400 wealthiest Americans published last month, his net worth is more than triple Steve Jobs'.

Michael Dell: $15.5 billion

Steve Jobs: $4.9 billion

[Chart comparing 10 years of Apple and Dell share prices courtesy of NASDAQ.]

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