Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs, called the iPad the beginning of the post-PC era. That’s true in so far as a PC is defined as traditional Mac or Windows desktops or notebooks. What’s coming, indeed, it’s here already, is the handheld era, mobile devices that do everything, and are connected everywhere. This is Apple’s Golden Era.
Compaq, IBM, HP, We Hardly Knew Ye
A few years ago IBM ditched the PC business, punting the growing losses to Lenovo. Today, HP wants out of the personal computer business, and is shopping around for someone, anyone, to take over the family PC business. HP is so desperate for profits, their highly touted webOS-based TouchPad has been scuttled.
Why? Add the iPad to Apple’s mix of notebooks, and Apple is #1 in mobile personal computer land. And the most profitable. Everyone else in the industry struggles to break even.
HP’s TouchPad was highly touted, but—like all other tablets—an anemic seller, even after drastic price cuts. HP decided to throw in the towel to focus on software services, similar to IBM a decade ago. HP’s move is an especially sore black eye because webOS and the TouchPad was launched in July. In mid-August, and it’s all over.
Why? Apple’s 12-cylinder machine is revved up, cranking like at no time in the company’s history. Every piece of Apple’s ecosystem is so well integrated, and functions so seamlessly, that competitive efforts pale in comparison.
Samsung was the smartest of the competitors, and simply decided to copy everything possible from Apple’s iPhone and iPad in a vain short-cut attempt at competitive success. How’s that working out so far, Samsung.
Who’s Next On The Chopping Block?
Short term, Dell is likely to gain from HP’s strangely timed departure from the PC market. Meanwhile, Apple’s Macs are the most profitable line on the planet. Mobile device customers are not buying tablets, they’re buying iPads. Everything else is an afterthought, an asterisk, a blip on Apple’s radar screen.
Google’s Android-based tablets are struggling in the marketplace. And, Android itself, along with hardware partners, are besieged with legal problems which may yet stunt the growth of Apple’s only real competition among handheld devices.
Microsoft, Windows Phone 7, and touch-based Windows 8 are heard from occasionally, but nowhere to be seen. Nokia and Dell appear to be on life support, losing money on every unit sold, but hoping to make it up on volume.
The Sun Shines On Cupertino
It wasn’t the years after the launch in a garage. It wasn’t the Apple II. Or, even the early Mac. Or, Apple before Windows ‘95. This is Apple’s Golden Era. The Mac is merely one of many columns which support Apple’s celestial palace.
All era’s come to an end. All palaces fall. All leaders become a footnote in history. For now and for the foreseeable future, Apple rules. Apple ruled the personal computer revolution it started back in the 1970s, and leads the revolution of handheld mobile devices for the 21st century.
All hail Apple. Bow before your leader (IBM, Microsoft, Dell, Google, et al).