August 20, 2011

The Post-PC World

There were plenty of chuckles when Steve Jobs opined on what he called the post-PC world last year. How the landscape has changed since then. Two things worth noting. First, Apple's foray into post-PC devices, the iPad, first created and then dominated the tablet market, so much so that H-P chose, after just two months of lackluster Touchpad sales, to pull the plug and exit the market. They were helped along in that choice by Google's announced decision to buy Motorola's mobile hardware division. Gaining a hardware manufacturing capability puts Google on a somewhat even production footing with Apple. The consumer market has formed around those two players, Apple and Google, both of which will control both the hardware and software of their respective platforms. Microsoft's alliance with Nokia has yet to bear fruit, but today's guess is that Microsoft will prop up what will become an also-ran in the mobile market. RIM, with their Blackberry devices, is all but dead. H-P never stood a chance. Second item, keep an eye on H-P's PC business. If they spin it off, a la IBM's sale of their PC business to Lenovo years ago, it'll be further proof that Jobs was right. H-P is the number one PC vendor by unit sales, but their profits pale in comparison to Apple's. And Apple is making most of those profits on mobile devices. H-P just threw in the towel on mobile devices ... why spend any further effort on PCs?