A recent CNN report claims Wall Street is, once again, predicting the demise of the personal computer. Yes, we live in a mobile world. Yes, PCs are plummeting in sales while mobile devices continue to rise. But is this the beginning of the end of the PC, or have we already passed the point of no return. Or, against all odds, can the PC make a comeback.
Microsoft doesn’t seem to think so, and neither does Hewlett-Packard. And with these two PC heavy hitters focusing on mobile tech and data science, respectively, is it fair to say the time to stick a fork in the personal computer has come?
The evidence, increasingly, says yes. While the Nasdaq, overall, is on the rise, both Microsoft and HP have watched their stock continue to slide. Even as Microsoft makes further forays into mobile and digital, and HP continues to levy massive cutbacks in its workforce. Intel, another indicator of PC strength, is also having a bad year so far in 2015. Sure, the company enjoyed 2014, but last year’s trendlines mean next to nothing in today’s shifting marketplace.
Further evidence of the trend can be found in the Big 3s chief rival – Apple. After a massive 40% uptick last year, Apple is enjoying another banner year, up nearly 18% already in 2015. Apple’s secret? It jumped into mobile with both feet years ago and has been leading the pack ever since. Even as its competitors tried to squeeze the last juice out of the PC lemon, Apple brazenly put both its desktops and laptops on the back burner, giving the iPad and iPhone the showcase spotlight. Sure, Apple continued to upgrade its laptops, making them faster and stronger – but the company also made them lighter.
By clinging – still, in many ways – to outdated technology that continues to fall out of favor with consumers in every demographic, HP and Microsoft allowed their brands to be labeled as the technology of yesterday. During the same time, Apple and mobile rival Samsung grabbed the top two spots in the Tech of Today marketplace. In sales, perception, and identity are every bit as important as features and benefits. While it’s understandable that both Microsoft and HP are massive aircraft carriers that take time to turn, they waited too long to change course, and it may already be too late.