Still more (unwarranted) death knells for the personal computer
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Still more (unwarranted) death knells for the personal computer

There were more death knells for the personal computer this week. They were unwarranted -- the personal computer will evolve, but isn't going away -- but make interesting reading.

Jim Van Meerlen, writing for "The Street" (http://macte.ch/ZVHXN) -- points out that almost every day the headlines read "The PC is Dead." He also wants to add "so is Dell."

"In the past nine months, Dell has had one bad earnings report after another and investors are leaving in droves," he writes. "... 'The Street' gives the stock a weak C rating. The company is trying to turn its battleship and change the product mix to be less PCs and more networking and server products but competition is high. The only bright spot is lower earnings will drop the company's tax rate."

Okay, so Dell may be dying (I imagine the company will survive, though in a much weaker form). Not personal computers. But back to that in a moment.

Richard Saintvilius, also writing for "The Street" (http://macte.ch/1No8Q), says the changes we are witnessing -- software companies like Microsoft getting into the hardware business and hardware companies like HP and Dell testing the software biz -- "can very well signal the beginning of the end of the PC era."

"What we will be left with is a new age of computing led by the three-headed monsters of Apple, Microsoft and Google, an era (similar to the rise of the PC) that will feature a rash of consolidation just as when HP acquired Compaq and lesser-known brands such as AST and Digital Equipment went defunct," he adds.

Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of CIOs [chief information officers] expect the desk phone to disappear from everyday use within five years, with personal computers are the next most likely to become redundant, according to 62% of 500 CIOs surveyed by Virgin Media Business -- as reported by "TechRepublic" (www.techrepublic.com).

Enough with the bad news. Let's get real. The personal computer industry grew at 10% last year. And if any company shows that there's plenty of room for computer growth, it's Apple.

The Mac market has consistently grown faster than the PC industry.  Macs grew their revenues 26% year-over-year in the last quarter and 22% for the last fiscal year. As of today, Macs represent only about 10% of the computer market in the U.S. and about 5% globally. There's nowhere to go but up.

Macs will evolve, adding more iOS-like features and probably more integration with iOS devices to spur sales. (John Martellaro has an interesting article called "What if the New iMac could run iOS?" at http://macte.ch/fxNp3). Whatever the changes, there's LOTS of room for Mac growth.

-- Dennis Sellers

 

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