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Consolidation in struggling PC market considered 'inevitable' as sales plummet

post #1 of 67
Thread Starter 
As the PC market continues to shrink even after the heavily hyped launch of Microsoft's Windows 8, consolidation among hardware makers and an industry-wide shakeup is likely "inevitable" in the coming years, according to a new analysis.

PC
The top five PC makers in the U.S. by market share last quarter, according to IDC.


Maynard Um with Wells Fargo believes the latest PC sales data from IDC, released this week, is the strongest indication yet that the PC market is in line for a major shakeup over the next few years. He sees an industry with more share consolidated among even fewer competitors.

The latest data from IDC showed that PC sales declined 13.9 percent year over year in the first quarter of 2013. That marks the worst year-over-year slip on record.

Apple saw its domestic sales slide 7.5 percent in the three-month span, according to IDC, suggesting that the Mac platform is in stronger shape than the overall PC market, though still also on the decline. However, IDC's data does not include international sales, which Um believes are likely growing faster than the U.S.

"While unit decline reflects Apple is not immune from the slowdown, it, unlike its peers, is at least participating in the tablet market," he said. "While new entrants offering low priced tablets are causing some share shifts, we believe Apple will continue to dominate dollar profit share ? more than half of the industry profits despite 10 percent share."

PC Estimates
U.S. shipments in thousands of units. | Source: IDC


Outside of Apple, Um expects to see a "markedly different" PC landscape in a few years, with fewer companies controlling larger shares. But in the interim, with no signs of immediate consolidation or industry rebound, Um believes the PC market will "continue to feel pain."

For the industry to reverse its downward trend, the analyst believes two major shifts need to happen. First, tablets will need to reach a level of market saturation, thus allowing consumer dollars to shift back to traditional PC purchases.

Secondly, Um believes pricing on PCs will need to become "materially more attractive" for the new touchscreen and ultrathin devices that debuted late last year along Microsoft's new Windows 8 operating system. At the moment, he believes these design shakeups are just too expensive for the average consumer.

The big winner in the March quarter, according to Um, was Dell, which gained 100 basis points of market share sequentially from the holiday quarter. He believes the company's gains may have been a result of its focus on retaining strategic share, which could have affected its pricing and margins.

The continued struggles seen in the PC market were predicted by late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in 2010, when he said the debut of the iPad signaled the beginning of a market-wide transition to a post-PC era. At the time Jobs believed that traditional PCs would remain, but their presence would be diminished over time as fewer users would need their specific abilities.

"The transformation of the PC to new form factors like the tablet is going to make some people uneasy because the PC has taken us a long ways," Jobs said at the AllThingsD conference. "The PC is brilliant? and we like to talk about the post-PC era, but it's uncomfortable."
post #2 of 67

Of course, Apple will suffer for this, despite being the one to cause it all via the product that is singlehandedly killing Middle Modern computing.

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post #3 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Of course, Apple will suffer for this, despite being the one to cause it all via the product that is singlehandedly killing Middle Modern computing.

Along with reaping a big portion of the profits of both traditional PCs and tablets. Yet somehow, still d00med.

post #4 of 67
I think HP is done and will either be bankrupt or bought out by 2015. Toshiba and Lenovo are smart and small enough to continue on in some way.
post #5 of 67
PCs: "more than half of the industry profits despite 10 percent share"
Phones: 3/4 of industry profits despite 20 percent share
Tablets: virtually all industry profits despite 60 percent share

The law of diminishing returns! Apple is doomed!!

Must follow Samsung, HP and seek higher share, lower profits, or will be forced to follow the history of Blackberry and Nokia in falling from success at the hands of the next Apple!!!

Sell, folks. Apple is success-toast. There's no way for it to outperform every industry it participates in greater than it already has, because no company like Apple has ever existed before, and therefore can't. New things simply don't happen.

Expect Windows 9 to rapidly turn things around in 2015. And before that, two more releases of Android, including Lemon Lime Soda Flavored Sorbet, with PowerWidgets that flash glittering rainbows with infrared advertising.
post #6 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheUnfetteredMind View Post

Along with reaping a big portion of the profits of both traditional PCs and tablets. Yet somehow, still d00med.

I am starting to think these Wall Street types sit in front of a myriad of Dell Screens connected to Dells running analytical stock data checking their BBs now and then and assume they are typical users.
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post #7 of 67
Love the Jobs quote at the end.

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post #8 of 67

This is all thanks to Apple!

 

We are all living in an increasingly post PC world, and I remember all of the clueless fools who mocked that term and denied that it would ever come to pass. These morons should all be forced to walk around with huge dunce caps, permanently plastered onto their thick heads.

 

The average person does not use or need a full PC anymore. Steve Jobs was right on the money when he spoke about trucks and cars. The vast majority of people only need a car, and there are still trucks available for those few people who might need them.

post #9 of 67
We are in a pre-PC world. The tablet will increase in capability while maintaining its form factor, with add-ons. The iPadPC will have to use Intel chips and run current OS X software, including OS X. The current iOS software is very limited on the iPad and iPhone; it cannot stay that way.

I see the iPad and MacBook Air merging. It must.
post #10 of 67
What's "uncomfortable" is the walled garden approaches that kills off abilities that power users want and expect from a computing device. The need to hack a system to jailbreak to get functionality you would normally find on a full-fledged computer is not sitting right with me or many others.

Give me full access to the system on iOS, just like on OS X -- make it an option! iOS devices COULD be SO much more than they are today if Apple opened them up!
post #11 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

The average person does not use or need a full PC anymore. Steve Jobs was right on the money when he spoke about trucks and cars. The vast majority of people only need a car, and there are still trucks available for those few people who might need them.

 

Is this really a post PC world? I think that was just marketing speak. Last time I looked Apple still sells several large screen desktop machines. I look at iPad as a compromise device. Sure, I use mine from time to time but I wouldn't characterize it as a entirely perfect experience.

 

For people who are always on the go or live in tiny little rooms, an iPad is a capable device for many usage scenarios, however, personally, I like my spacious home, full size SUV and my large screen desktop computer.

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post #12 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

 

Is this really a post PC world? I think that was just marketing speak. Last time I looked Apple still sells several large screen desktop machines. I look at iPad as a compromise device. Sure, I use mine from time to time but I wouldn't characterize it as a entirely perfect experience.

 

For people who are always on the go or live in tiny little rooms, an iPad is a capable device for many usage scenarios, however, personally, I like my spacious home, full size SUV and my large screen desktop computer.

That's just you though. You have to think about the average person IMO.

 

You or I might need or depend on powerful desktop machines, and I certainly won't be giving up my desktop machines and laptops anytime soon, but I'm talking about everybody else.

 

I don't think that it was just marketing speak, even Mac sales are supposedly on the decline, just not as much as PC sales.

post #13 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post

We are in a pre-PC world. The tablet will increase in capability while maintaining its form factor, with add-ons. The iPadPC will have to use Intel chips and run current OS X software, including OS X. The current iOS software is very limited on the iPad and iPhone; it cannot stay that way.

I see the iPad and MacBook Air merging. It must.

Well, there had better not be any fans in any iPads ever. That would be a fatal mistake. Also, iOS is still in it's infancy and it's only going to get more features as time goes on.

 

I already have OS X on my iPad available via Splashtop. I use it for doing stuff that is currently impossible to do on an iPad for me, like playing real money Poker. However, OS X was never designed for touch screens, and I'd rather not have a full OS X, permanently on my iPad. I happen to like the simplicity of the iPad and iOS. When I need to do some heavy duty stuff, I simply switch from my iPad to something else.

post #14 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post

We are in a pre-PC world. The tablet will increase in capability while maintaining its form factor, with add-ons. The iPadPC will have to use Intel chips and run current OS X software, including OS X. The current iOS software is very limited on the iPad and iPhone; it cannot stay that way.

I see the iPad and MacBook Air merging. It must.

It's a common wrong assumption to believe apps made for desktop oriented environment can be useful on mobile oriented device.  Microsoft's past 15 year of tablets attempt should be enough for anyone sane to realize the PC got legacy issues with their CTRL-ALT-DEL and right click. iOS and Android softwares are limited only by the device form factor who need special attention for touch input and limited screen estate, any dedicated iOS apps is better than trying to use a desktop apps mean to be driven by keyboard and mouse with a +21 inch display on a 10inch tablet

 

For me the Post-PC revolution is more about a software than hardware. Like any other previous system, the desktop PC will died in his current state, people will eventually forget about PC apps, just like PDP-11, CPM, DOS, GEM, and AppleDOS before. 


Edited by BigMac2 - 4/11/13 at 1:00pm
post #15 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post

What's "uncomfortable" is the walled garden approaches that kills off abilities that power users want and expect from a computing device. The need to hack a system to jailbreak to get functionality you would normally find on a full-fledged computer is not sitting right with me or many others.

Give me full access to the system on iOS, just like on OS X -- make it an option! iOS devices COULD be SO much more than they are today if Apple opened them up!

Maybe then the iOS platform would be a success instead of the low-volume, loss-leader it is today¡

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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post #16 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

...but I'm talking about everybody else.

Yeah but the masses are asses. Compromise seems to be the conventional wisdom de jure. 

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post #17 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Of course, Apple will suffer for this, despite being the one to cause it all via the product that is singlehandedly killing Middle Modern computing.

I am not sure Apple will suffer but Apple - or more specifically the iPad will go down in history as the device that brought down the first big wave of personal computing. The interesting thing is to see what will follow. With the collapse of the giants new opportunities will arise that will perhaps be filled by new startups that will create niche products (specially in the area of power-computing such as video, graphics, photography. I fancy much more powerful, much more modularised devices)

post #18 of 67
Originally Posted by paxman View Post
I am not sure Apple will suffer but Apple - or more specifically the iPad will go down in history as the device that brought down the first big wave of personal computing.

 

How many companies can say they both created and destroyed an entire industry?

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post #19 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

I am not sure Apple will suffer but Apple - or more specifically the iPad will go down in history as the device that brought down the first big wave of personal computing. The interesting thing is to see what will follow. With the collapse of the giants new opportunities will arise that will perhaps be filled by new startups that will create niche products (specially in the area of power-computing such as video, graphics, photography. I fancy much more powerful, much more modularised devices)

You are correct although I think to all but the Apple haters and people living in caves, it isn't 'will go down in history ... ' rather 'already has gone down in history ...'
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post #20 of 67

Lenovo grew 13%.  

 

Only bright spot.  Manufacturers need to smarten up, and abandon Windows.  Microsoft has screwed all their partners, and their OS is terrible.  Linux is more than mature enough to replace Windows, and with some love from OEMs could be easy and stable enough for the average user.  

 

As long as PC makers stay on the Microsoft bandwagon, they'll suffer...

post #21 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

How many companies can say they both created and destroyed an entire industry?

And not just once either ... iPods are all but on the way out too and Apple with the iPod pretty much took the whole 'all your digital music in a device with you at all time' to the zenith albeit they didn't invent MP3 players as such.
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post #22 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post
We are in a pre-PC world. The tablet will increase in capability while maintaining its form factor, with add-ons. The iPadPC will have to use Intel chips and run current OS X software, including OS X. The current iOS software is very limited on the iPad and iPhone; it cannot stay that way.

I see the iPad and MacBook Air merging. It must.

 

The kitchen sink, washing machine, bath tub and shower each perform the same fundamental task of washing with water.  The small kitchen sink is limited in what it can do when compared to a nice big bath tub.

 

Maybe it's time the kitchen sink, washing machine, bath and shower merge into one all capable device?

 

There already is a solution on the market for the minority who need full OS X on a tablet, it's the Modbook.

post #23 of 67

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

How many companies can say they both created and destroyed an entire industry?

Not many. I'd love a sneak peek into the future and see what Apple will be like in 50 years. Will it exist? Will it be many companies? Will it be dominant? Will it be an evil monster? 

post #24 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

 

Is this really a post PC world? I think that was just marketing speak. Last time I looked Apple still sells several large screen desktop machines. I look at iPad as a compromise device. Sure, I use mine from time to time but I wouldn't characterize it as a entirely perfect experience.

 

For people who are always on the go or live in tiny little rooms, an iPad is a capable device for many usage scenarios, however, personally, I like my spacious home, full size SUV and my large screen desktop computer.

Trucks and SUVs haven't gone away. But they're not necessary for a lot of people. You can still buy them, but most people don't need to.

 

In the same way, PCs won't go away. But they won't be necessary for a lot of people. You'll still be able to buy them, but most people won't need to. Sales will (continue to) plummet.

 

Tablets are cheaper and/or more convenient for what most people do: email, web, social media, video, music, books, light office work.

 

An iPad isn't a great device for creating a spreadsheet with 500 macros and 30 tabs, or writing the great novel, or editing hours of 4K video, or editing thousands of camera RAW files, or writing software. You need a PC for that*. But how many people need that? Very few.

 

 

*--at least for now you do. With processors doubling in speed in all the time, and UI's getting more sophisticated, more and more (but not all) of these complex tasks will migrate to tablets over the next decade.

post #25 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post

I see the iPad and MacBook Air merging. It must.

Yes - I agree. Not sure how, not sure when, but I suspect they will. 

 

I am looking forward to plugging my iPhone into my 30" montior at work. Well, not literally 'plugging in' of course - no cables, please. The monitor will possibly have add ons that will enhance my iPhone so it can run dedicated graphics and video software. Oh wait... I look forward to my kids doing that. 

post #26 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post

What's "uncomfortable" is the walled garden approaches that kills off abilities that power users want and expect from a computing device. The need to hack a system to jailbreak to get functionality you would normally find on a full-fledged computer is not sitting right with me or many others.

Give me full access to the system on iOS, just like on OS X -- make it an option! iOS devices COULD be SO much more than they are today if Apple opened them up!

 

Your position, sir, is completely irrelevant today and in the extreme minority. It is from the past, almost pre-Cambrian.

post #27 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by bikertwin View Post

Trucks and SUVs haven't gone away. But they're not necessary for a lot of people. You can still buy them, but most people don't need to.

 

In the same way, PCs won't go away. But they won't be necessary for a lot of people. You'll still be able to buy them, but most people won't need to. Sales will (continue to) plummet.

 

Tablets are cheaper and/or more convenient for what most people do: email, web, social media, video, music, books, light office work.

 

An iPad isn't a great device for creating a spreadsheet with 500 macros and 30 tabs, or writing the great novel, or editing hours of 4K video, or editing thousands of camera RAW files, or writing software. You need a PC for that*. But how many people need that? Very few.

 

 

*--at least for now you do. With processors doubling in speed in all the time, and UI's getting more sophisticated, more and more (but not all) of these complex tasks will migrate to tablets over the next decade.

Nice post, agree fully. That said, I mostly have trucks right now, but can foresee the addition of features and capabilities to tablets and phones such that these will take up the majority of the time we interface with "computers" in the future.

 

When the iPad was first announced, I couldn't help but think of Star Trek Next Generation and how they use small tablets and their comm badges to interact with the ship's computer for all their tasks. Is this where we're headed? Are we on the path already with cloud services and our PCs and mobile devices? Certainly things can improve greatly from where we are now. I think it will be exciting to see how things evolve.

post #28 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post

What's "uncomfortable" is the walled garden approaches that kills off abilities that power users want and expect from a computing device. The need to hack a system to jailbreak to get functionality you would normally find on a full-fledged computer is not sitting right with me or many others.

Give me full access to the system on iOS, just like on OS X -- make it an option! iOS devices COULD be SO much more than they are today if Apple opened them up!

 

I'm surrounded by technical people who are stuck in this mindset: who believe that the only way to interact with a computer/device is via command-lines, filesystems, scripting languages, editing obscure preference files, etc.  I want to have them all sit and try to explain why these things are so great to the average computer user (e.g. some friends of mine who only ever use their computer to save and view the photos they take).  They'll quickly realize that they're speaking a foreign language when those people tune out after the first couple of sentences, and hopefully realize that the vast majority of people just want to use a computer/device to perform a discrete task quickly and then get away from it to do other things (which is where the iOS model excels).

 

If you're a software developer, all of that power is there to use via your apps.  If you're not a developer, there are plenty of apps available which can provide this experience if you look hard enough.  I have apps which provide an SSH terminal, VNC to a remote machine, file syncing apps which provide filesystem access for the files they manage, etc installed on my phone.  The only thing lacking is access to a multitude of system UI preferences/tweaks.  However, having spent countless hours in college tweaking various X11 window managers on Linux to do weird and wonderful things, I can honestly say it's a huge waste of time unless you're actually working in the field of UI design.

 
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post #29 of 67
The domestic PC market may be on the decline but the PC market is not dead. Ask the thousands of businesses who use PC's in their everyday life. What is needed is for Microsoft to keep W8 for the domestic market and re-release W7 for businesses.
post #30 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Not many. I'd love a sneak peek into the future and see what Apple will be like in 50 years....

Me too, 'tho since I'm already 71, that means I'll be 120 by then so I may not be as "interested". The good thing is my goal to live forever (so far, so good) is still in play ... shaky, but still.   1wink.gif  

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post #31 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by bikertwin View Post

 ...but most people don't need to.

 

 ...but most people won't need to.

 

...But how many people need that? 

 

 

I only need air, water, food, and shelter from the elements. I won't get into what I want...

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post #32 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheUnfetteredMind View Post

That said, I mostly have trucks right now, but can foresee the addition of features and capabilities to tablets and phones such that these will take up the majority of the time we interface with "computers" in the future.

I find it amusing how so many people in this forum carry on about the virtues of the tiny screen of the iPad yet want an 80" TV in their living room.

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post #33 of 67
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
I find it amusing how so many people in this forum carry on about the virtues of the tiny screen of the iPad yet want an 80" TV in their living room.

 

Humor, as disappointment, can often come from ignorance.

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post #34 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I find it amusing how so many people in this forum carry on about the virtues of the tiny screen of the iPad yet want an 80" TV in their living room.

Not following. Are you saying you want an 80" iPad?

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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post #35 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Not following. Are you saying you want an 80" iPad?

No just finding it comical that in order to be like all the futurists among us, and become part of the post PC era I need to give up my large screen desktop because I can't justify it since I'm not editing 4K video. Just pointing out the irony of how a tiny iPad is all one will ever need for computing yet they scoff at a 40" TV as if that is so last decade.

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post #36 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Humor, as disappointment, can often come from ignorance.

Care to elaborate or is that just a snide remark to avoid a direct insult?

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post #37 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrections View Post

Expect Windows 9 to rapidly turn things around in 2015. And before that, two more releases of Android, including Lemon Lime Soda Flavored Sorbet, with PowerWidgets that flash glittering rainbows with infrared advertising.

 

Hilarious!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][
 
We are all living in an increasingly post PC world, and I remember all of the clueless fools who mocked that term and denied that it would ever come to pass. These morons should all be forced to walk around with huge dunce caps, permanently plastered onto their thick heads.

 

If you haven't yet, you ought to take a walk down memory lane at iPad Death Watch. It too is hilarious, especially the parts about the Blackberry Motorola Surface tablets that were going to take out the iPad just as soon as they became available.

post #38 of 67
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
Care to elaborate or is that just a snide remark to avoid a direct insult?

 

It's another way of saying "it's difficult to compare things that have absolutely nothing to do with one another."

 

While small televisions can, by definition, never get bigger, the iPad will certainly become as powerful as any individual could need from a computing device.

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post #39 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I find it amusing how so many people in this forum carry on about the virtues of the tiny screen of the iPad yet want an 80" TV in their living room.

:)

 

I think there is a difference, although the lines will blend/blur even more in the future than they have started to already (with things like Airplay for e.g.).

 

I recently needed to use the projector/screen in the basement to try to do real work when I had to take our iMac in for service (Seagate drive replacement program, even though it was still fully operational). The focal depth difference from the 27" iMac (2560 x 1440 res, 2 - 2.5' away) versus the 135" screen (1920 x 1080 res, about 18' away) made working on the screen much more difficult for me. I think the larger screens are nice for watching content, but not so great for reading text, working in Terminal, etc (at least for me). Since iPhones and iPads are used at much closer distances, they are much better for things like such activities.

 

I have watched video on my iPhone, but certainly not as pleasant as on a TV/screen that's larger and further away (not counting the audio benefits of a full surround sound system utilized with the TV/screen vs the tiny speaker(s) on the phone/tablet).

 

We have a 50" TV and sit about 13' away (thus why we got a 720p set).

 

My two cents :)

post #40 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

As the PC market continues to shrink even after the heavily hyped launch of Microsoft's Windows 8, consolidation among hardware makers and an industry-wide shakeup is likely "inevitable" in the coming years, according to a new analysis.



I could see some merging going on as well as some downsizing. One of Apple's key strategies has been:

"Apple doesn’t have the resources others have, and we have to choose which horses to ride. We try to ride those that are on the way up. If you choose wisely, you save yourself an enormous amount of work."

HP, Dell, Lenovo have been fighting each other for lower profits to gain high volume shipments. Working hard for little gain and now they have nothing in the industries that are on the way up.

Samsung and HTC are the HP and Dell of this generation and they are following the exact same strategy - too many products, too little quality control, too big of a push towards low price, low profit products and they'll run out of people to sell to. When they run out, they start to make the losses and Apple still has growth opportunities.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrections 
PCs: "more than half of the industry profits despite 10 percent share"
Phones: 3/4 of industry profits despite 20 percent share
Tablets: virtually all industry profits despite 60 percent share

The law of diminishing returns! Apple is doomed!!

Must follow Samsung, HP and seek higher share, lower profits, or will be forced to follow the history of Blackberry and Nokia in falling from success at the hands of the next Apple!!!

lol.gif Apple must please the 'owners', the 'owners' demand lower profits as long as there's signs of growth. The richest company on the planet will soon be closing its doors should the warning bells go unheeded.
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