Apple should quit the hardware business says analyst

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applelogo.pngIn a report that many Apple aficionados will think is pure heresy, Gartner Research has suggested that Apple needs to get out of the hardware business, do a licensing deal between Apple and Dell, and concentrate on the software side.

The increasing price of components plus pressure on Apple to cut its overall prices means that its long-term success is in question, unless it sells out to Dell who have the capacity and distribution channels.

“Apple should leverage its close relationship with Intel and team up with Intel’s closest ally, Dell,” the report states. “We recognise that this move would surprise and even shock many. We are aware that Steve Jobs cancelled previous Mac licences when he took over at Apple and that he guards the Apple brand zealously.”

Yes, in the pre-Jobs days some other companies were licensed to produce Apple hardware, but Steve put a stop to all that in 1997.

Gartner claim that if Apple chose the right partners and distribution channels and made pricing more attractive, Mac OS could find its way onto up to 20% of the world’s PCs. They also claim that Apple’s 40% margin on its Mac business is only sustainable because Intel are propping up the business.

The report has a suitably inflammatory title, simply “Apple Should License the Mac to Dell”

Could it ever happen? Never say never. Many would never have conceived Apple switching to Intel chips, but it’s happened. But Apple licensing the Mac to Dell? Probably not whilst Steve’s around.

What do you think?

Andy Merrett