Will PC-makers' move into home electronics leave thin support for your business PCs?
Quick--what do Apple Computer, Dell, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Sony have in common? They all sell business PCs, right? Well, yeah. But flagging sales and margins have them looking elsewhere for profit--namely, your home entertainment center.
"Margins are tightening, prices are coming down, and PCs are becoming more of a commodity than ever before," explains Find/SVP researcher Larry Fisher, "so PC companies are diversifying into consumer electronics." It turns out Apple sells more iPods than iMacs, Gateway and Sony have their eyes glued to flat-panel TVs, and without its digital imaging division, HP's financials might have no black ink at all. IBM, the only major player without an initiative in electronic gadgets, finally got tired of the color red and sold its PC-manufacturing operation to China's Lenovo Group. Dell insists it makes money selling PCs but, by the way, it sure would like to come over and set up your big-screen TV and home network--maybe even sell you a personal photo printer over a cup of coffee and some Entenmann's.