Several current news items clearly show that the personal computer–the primary driving force product in the IT industry since 1980—has become just a minor piece of hardware . The first set of data shows that the PC has been replaced by the mobile phone. In Q04 2010, 92 million PCs were sold,while 101 million smartphones were sold. By 2014 there will be over 1 billion smartphone users. Nearly all Generation Y consumers own a mobile phone of some kind and 72 percent own smartphones Over three-quarters of Americans age 43 and under now use a smartphone. 53 percent of American consumers use their smartphones to access search engines at least once a day. Smartphones and tablet computers will increase mobile Web traffic by 26 times during the next four years. The other current news items that are pointing to the demise of the PC include:
- Dell, the company that mastered the low-cost commodity distribution strategy for PCs, is struggling, and its board is asking its founder to buy it and take it private.
- HP, the company that tried to save itself by buying Compaq, perhaps the premier desktop provider,is thrashing around , generating rumors of a break-up.
- BillGates, the master of the PC product world, is now seeking to invest,not in PC-related businesses, but rather in the next-generation condom maker!
These major events have been driven by more than just the rise in mobile phones, but the smartphone is clearly taking over some of the key uses previously performed by the PC—like eCommerce ( now it’s mCommerce. ) Dell–although they undoubtedly beat the market by being the cost/price leader, never did get a toehold in account management via professional services. Dell was just the cheapest commodity box maker. HP, for years looked successful because of their dominance in the desktop printer market. The results produced by that dominance masked the deep problems and old-fashioned vision inside the company. They never succeeded as a system solution provider, and their service business never evolved from the primitive break/fix cost center model. They hoped that buying Compaq’s line of high-end servers would help them succeed as a mid-range system provider, but their stodgy approach to services locked them into the commodity product corner.
When you live by the product–instead of providing needed canadian online pharmacy services to your customers— you die when the product gravy train is interrupted by the next best thing.