In terms of economic recovery, and overall growth trends, the PC market is a lot healthier than many others— automobiles, for example. However, although the PC market recovered faster than autos, it got gob-smacked by the impact of tablets. Seeing the downturn in sales, the sharpshooters on Wall Street drew a straight line and cleverly predicted the PC would be dead and gone by 2020. Those were the same bright folks who created derivatives that sent the world economy into a nosedive; definitely the folks we want to be listening to. Fortunately, the world beyond Wall Street wasn’t paying attention to the wealth-building ideas of the investment crowd and tried to go on about the business of business.
And even though the recession was officially declared over at the end of 2009, those living it didn’t feel any relief until late last year, making it one of the longest, and most devastating, economic crashes in history, and one that the 99% of us have not really recovered from.
But, and, we are recovering, and the numbers prove it. And guess what? Not only didn’t the PC market die, it’s strong and growing. Imagine that.
So what’s next? Now that tablet sales have slowed, will those clever boys and girls making a few million a year picking stocks, forecast the tablet is dead? They’ve declared the digital camera
dead, and TV dead. And yet, like the PC, TV just doesn’t seem to get the memo and go away.
Coming back to the PC, we can also ask the question: What’s next? The PC industry reminds me of the U.S. car industry a bit. In the ’50s and ’60s, U.S. cars were great, the pride of the country.
Then the U.S. automakers forgot they were in the consumer products market and thought they were in the financial market business and turned out crappy cars for two decades—their sales reflected their greedy and stupidity while they watched German and Japanese car companies
take market share from them. In the mid-2000s, they started to wake up and now are producing some damn fine cars again.
In the late 1990s, the PC industry thought you could sell anyone a PC as long as it was painted beige, and sadly, they were proven right. Then the 2001 recession hit and the market consolidated. The survivors looked for different colors to paint their boxes, but it wasn’t until 2008 when Apple introduced the Air that the PC industry woke up. That led to thin & lights, the ultrabook, and the first wave of all-in-ones. Now we have two-in-ones, newer AIOs, Chromebooks, Nooks, and other interesting and exciting form factors with new levels of performance, and usability.
So that’s what’s next? Better PCs. Sometimes it takes a forest fire to clean things up. But to survive you’ve got to have mighty hardy trees. The PC is a hardy tree, and it’s going to do just fine. Don’t listen to the experts—listen to your gut. You never thought the PC was
going to die, did you.