A senior Dell exec yesterday admitted his company hasn't done a great job competing with Apple in the music player market.

A Reuters report cites Dell's chief financial officer, Jim Schneider, who said: "We're obviously not competing very well."

"Apple has come out with a nice product and I think it's really turned their company around," he said. He believes Apple's success with its iPod has boosted Mac sales, too, the report says.

Apple shipped 1,236,000 Macs and 6,451,000 iPods during its recent fourth quarter, representing 48 per cent growth in Macs and 220 per cent growth in iPods year-on-year.

For fiscal 2005, Apple generated revenue of $13.93 billion and a net profit of $1.335 billion - annual growth of 68 per cent and 384 per cent, respectively. The highest annual revenue and net profit in its corporate history.

While Apple ascends, Dell seems battered.

Last week it confirmed it missed its targets for the just-gone quarter, citing an unexpected motherboard replacement scheme and weak sales in the US and the UK. Profits for the quarter slid 28 per cent.