If Apple fully adopted Dell's Direct Model, would it be a more successful company?

Should Apple adopt the Direct Model?

  • ABSOLUTELY!!!

    Votes: 2 11.1%
  • NO WAY MAN!!!

    Votes: 12 66.7%
  • Yes, it just might help.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Yes, but I don't think it will help any.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No, but it couldn't hurt.

    Votes: 3 16.7%
  • Who knows? The future is uncertain.

    Votes: 1 5.6%
  • I haven't a clue. :(

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    18

Shrek

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jul 23, 2002
1,118
0
Nashville, Tennessee USA
Just food for thought. . .

If Apple sold 100% of it's products direct to consumers (as Dell has done), it may become a lot more successful! This is because it wouldn't have to worry about retail markup (which would lower it's prices), it could work one on one with it's customers (getting to know their customers better, resulting in superior service and support :D), and by selling computers on-demand it doesn't have to worry about overstocking it's products, saving the company tons of money!

Should Apple do this? What do you think?
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,859
57
Probably not,

The first half of the switch campaign is the advertising, the second half is convincing the new customers that come into the Apple Store, CompUSA, Fry's, etc. to actually touch the computer and see how easy it is to use.

And it's a little hard to have a one-on-one relationship when you're no longer face-to-face with a knowledgeable salesman.

The Dell model works fine for a company with a itty bitty R&D department, that can buy parts from vendors and slap together a system with parts delivered just in time.

But Apple designs and contracts out some of the components in their computer, this alone means that Apple may not have the depth of suppliers to manage a just in time model. They must contract production time months in advance for products that'll only work in Macs, this means there will be shortages and surplus components wedged in the supply chain well before they are placed in computers.

If Dell cuts off a supplier due to a dip in sales the vendor dumps the product elsewhere, if the vendor can't supply enough Dell will just order it from somewhere else.
 
Comment

Shrek

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jul 23, 2002
1,118
0
Nashville, Tennessee USA
Actually, I don't think so. Earlier this year when Apple was selling it's iMacs at a way above average rate, it turned to a contractor in Taiwan I think, and flew them in from there. So the question is, if there was a shortage of parts and Apple couldn't keep up with demand, couldn't it just contract with another manufacturer to make up for the shortage? :rolleyes:

This is actually a good way for Apple to do business, by contracting other manufacturers to build it's computers. By doing so, it can stay on top of rising and falling demand for it's products. :D
 
Comment

gbojim

macrumors 6502
Jan 30, 2002
353
0
Technically they could do it, but it would be pretty close to the worst thing they could do.

Problem is that Dell sells a commodity product. They don't really have to convince anyone to buy a PC. They have to convince people to buy it from them as opposed to somewhere else. You do that on price, service, a combination of both or just good marketing which Dell excels at.

Apple on the other hand has to convince people to buy a Mac. Convincing pros is not a big deal - they know about Apple, which is why the majority of the marketing effort is aimed at consumers.
 
Comment

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,973
3
Gone but not forgotten.
If Apple stopped innovating and did as they were told (who would tell them?), they could be much more successful. Dell is successful at that.

Apple has almost always been a risk taker. Innovation is not for people with weak stomachs. Michael Dell has done well ever since he was assembling PCs in his dorm room. He took no risks. He was not innovative. The direct model was the most innovative and I'm certain that you could find half-a-dozen other companies in other industries at the time who were doing it.

If you look back at it, PowerComputing was pretty successful. They certainly sold large numbers of computers and took away market share from Apple.

If Apple gives up innovation and does the Dell dance, what will you buy?
 
Comment

blackpeter

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2001
919
0
Yeah. It's important for Apple computers to be out there, so first time customers can demo them. Most people (myself included) don't believe how superior Macs are until they use them.
 
Comment

crassusad44

macrumors 6502a
Nov 30, 2001
546
0
Scandinavia
Originally posted by bousozoku
If Apple stopped innovating and did as they were told (who would tell them?), they could be much more successful. Dell is successful at that.
BLASPHEMY!!! :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

If Apple stopped innovating, there would be no Apple, and there would be no (r)evolution in the PC industry. If it were not for Apple, we would still hook up our external hard drives on the parrallell port, and browse the net with Exploder 1.0 on Win 2.0......:eek: :eek:
 
Comment

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,973
3
Gone but not forgotten.
Originally posted by crassusad44


BLASPHEMY!!! :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

If Apple stopped innovating, there would be no Apple, and there would be no (r)evolution in the PC industry. If it were not for Apple, we would still hook up our external hard drives on the parrallell port, and browse the net with Exploder 1.0 on Win 2.0......:eek: :eek:
Think DOS. If Macintosh never brought the GUI to popular use, we'd be typing commands. There would probably not be any world wide web either.
 
Comment

whfsdude

macrumors 6502a
Jan 20, 2002
560
0
Washington DC
One thing I'm finding out is that the avarage computer owner is not going to get a pc then go out and get a mac. What you have to do is get companys to use macs. I have a lot of friends who want macs but their parents can only afford one good computer so they need to get a PC because thats what they use at work. Apple CANNOT go for just the avarage computer buyer. DUH!!! Also I wonder when dell will turn into gateway? :D
 
Comment

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,859
57
Wow, with the vast selection of Mac software on the shelves in the few store that do sell Macs, I wonder what would happen if all resellers were terminated...

Imagine CompUSA with no Mac hardware section and no Mac software.

Wait a minute, I can picture it now, just replace the BeOS and Amiga logo with Apple's logo.
 
Comment

jefhatfield

Retired
Jul 9, 2000
8,803
0
Originally posted by Shrek
I never said anything about stopping Apple's innovation folks. They could still keep doing that and be direct at the same time. :)
it is so much more fun to be able to try out the machines in person first

but the mac types i know buy the machines sight unseen thru the apple site or macwarehouse catalogs

it would cut down on operating expense and give apple better profits in the long run...more could be spent on advertising instead of manning stores and keeping up an inventory which has to eventually be marked down

my preference for stores is just that

dell does well because it sells direct and so can apple if they chose to...the lines have already been drawn in the sand...the five percent who like apple now will stay that way no matter how apple sells its machines

...as long as they innovate and make a better product than the pc world

btw - i decided to purchase my current laptops...one pc, one ibook...without having tried them out...i read the stats and the price and i was sold...easy as that
 
Comment

Shrek

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jul 23, 2002
1,118
0
Nashville, Tennessee USA
Originally posted by jefhatfield

...more could be spent on advertising instead of manning stores and keeping up an inventory which has to eventually be marked down
And that's exactly what Apple needs to focus on right now: marketing and advertising. IMO that has been their biggest weakness for too many years now. But they definitely still need to keep innovating. If they don't, all that advertising will have been a waste (as those who switch will later regret it, and some current Mac users may move to a PC :mad: ).
 
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