Has Michael Dell seriously ruled Apple out of the running? Clearly nobody has told Apple, but if comments made by the eponymous Dell boss on the firm's second quarter conference call are to be taken at face value, then its time for Steve Jobs to get the hell out of Dodge.
Dell was responding to a question asked over Google's acquisition of Motorola earlier this week, which has had the mobility industry in uproar as it rapidly became quite clear that Google may have pulled a fast one in the patent acquisition stakes.
"They [Google] haven't said a whole lot about it, but I think patents play a big role here," expounded Dell. "Having Android with a stronger ability to exhaust patent claims against it pobably sets up an interesting competitive dynamic."
He went on: "We're still quite interested in Android. I'll also tell you that our early work on Windows 8 on the tablet side looks to be pretty encouraging, and so we think it's shaping up to be a competitive environment.
"I don't think beyond those two that there are viable alternatives that make sense," said Dell. "There's a lot of other noise out there in the market that I don't think will amount to much."
Should Cupertino be worried? Hmm. Probably not.
Aside from the current Apple versus Samsung rumble, Dell recently scrapped its Android-based Streak device in the US, although it continues to sell in Britain, and HP's TouchPad is looking increasingly like a very damp squib indeed, with Best Buy employees understood to be drowning in drifts of unsold stock.
One thing is for certain; consumers only have eyes for Apple, and in this environment, Michael Dell's statement looks either very very brave, or frankly misinformed.
This was first published in August 2011