OCZ sells its SSD business to Toshiba, PC enthusiasts have stopped upgrading, and is AMD giving up on the FX platform?
Welcome to episode #215 of the No BS Podcast where we talk about nothing but gloom and doom for the PC industry. We begin with the recent sale of OCZ's SSD business to Toshiba, and what it means for current and future customers. We discuss the latest report from IDC which predicts PC sales will have declined by over 10 percent in 2013 because PC users have no reasons to upgrade. Finally, we consider the possibility of AMD abandoning the fight with Intel. We wrap up with our Editors' Picks and Gordon delivers a fiery sermon on a range of topics that includes Star Wars and e-mail.
The latest news, our picks, your questions, and Gordan's rant!
This time around it was a full podcast room as we tackled the latest industry developments, including the future of our very own magazine. First up Deputy editor Gordon Mah Ung kicked off a discussion on AMD's 5GHz CPU and its position in the enthusiast market, then Editor in Chief Katherine Stevenson dished on the rumors surrounding the Microsoft Surface refresh, and finally Associate Editor Tom McNamara opined on the state of the PC industry. We closed Edpisode #207 of the Maximum PC Podcast with some tablet talk, tons of reader questions, our editors' picks, and Gordon's signature rant.
Microsoft wanted us all to believe Windows 8 would spark a new wave of consumer upgrades, and finally put to rest all the doom and gloom stories about declining PC sales. Skeptics were skeptical (surprise), but at least a few of these naysayers have been proven right. Windows 8 hasn’t lit the PC world on fire, but can we all at least agree it’s just a bit too early to say Windows 8 is a flop? Blogs from around the web pounced on the Supersite’s headline declaring Windows 8 a failure, but the story here is much more complicated.
My favorite CEO adage by far is the tale of three envelopes. It is rumored that a new chief executive is presented with three envelopes by his predecessor. These notes of wisdom are designed to be opened in sequence in response to any serious crisis. The first letter directs the new leader to shift blame to the last CEO. The second envelope directs the CEO to re-organize and fire people. The last and final piece of advice on the third letter is to prepare three identical envelopes for the next guy. This urban legend may elicit a few snickers from the readers, but unfortunately for HP CEO Meg Whitman, it looks like she’s already cracked open two of her three envelopes.
HP’s behavior in 2011 has been, well, erratic, to say the least. (The absolute least.) The PR missteps by the world’s top PC supplier has opened a crack just wide enough for other companies to sneak in and steal HP’s title of king of the PC hill. So which competitor has the gumption to take the top spot? Lenovo recently unseated Dell from the number two position, so it appears to hold the prime position for usurpation. Wrong! says one analyst – who expects Apple to become the global PC leader in in 2012.
Ah, fads. Without those brief, yet intense, bursts of consumer excitement, the majority of us may have never heard awesome tidbits like the Pet Rock, bell-bottom pants, the Macarena, Tickle Me Elmo or Trapper Keepers. If you listen to Acer chairman JT Wang, one of our useful modern electronics is soon to join those fabled ranks. That’s right, while the pundits are busy calling tablet PCs the best thing since sliced bread, Wang thinks the whole iPad deal is overblown. The future lies in Ultrabooks!
For as long as PCs have been around, Americans have been the ones buying them. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the old Stars n’ Stripes dominated the PC salescape when you remember that the field was pioneered by US-based companies like Apple and IBM. Now, that streak has come to an end; a new report says that China surpassed the US in both PC shipments and sales in the second quarter of 2011.
You can take our decked out desktop PC when you pry it from our cold, dead hands, but until then, we'll continue to play Crysis (yes, our PCs can run Crysis), burn Blu-ray discs, transfer files via USB, and watch Flash videos. You know, all the things we can't do on an iPad. Why bother bringing this up? Well, we wanted to preface what market research firm IHS iSuppli is saying, which is that rising consumer interest in tablets like the iPad is starting to take a toll on the global PC market.
The sky isn't falling, the world isn't about to end, and PCs aren't dying. Why, then, is market research firm Gartner bugging out? Call it an overreaction or a temporary blip as tablets settle into the marketplace (or a little of both), but according to Gartner, worldwide PC shipments totaled 84.3 million units in the first quarter of 2011, a 1.1 percent slip from the same period one year ago. Doesn't sound like much, but Gartner says the shipment results are indicative of a potential sluggishness, not just a normal seasonal dip.
Apple set out to kickstart and then rule the tablet market with it's iPad, and now the iPad 2. Mission accomplished, at least until sexier Android tablets chip away at Apple's mobile market share. But what about PCs? It would be silly to think that slates will replace traditional computers, but according to one analyst, Apple's iPad devices have significantly cut into PC growth.