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Home Stretch

Will PC-makers' move into home electronics leave thin support for your business PCs?

By Mike Hogan • May 5, 2006 Originally published May 5, 2005

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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 lookingelsewhere for profit--namely, your home entertainment center.

"Margins are tightening, prices are coming down, and PCsare becoming more of a commodity than ever before," explainsFind/SVP researcher Larry Fisher, "so PC companies arediversifying into consumer electronics." It turns out Applesells more iPods than iMacs, Gateway and Sony have their eyes gluedto flat-panel TVs, and without its digital imaging division,HP's financials might have no black ink at all. IBM, the onlymajor player without an initiative in electronic gadgets, finallygot tired of the color red and sold its PC-manufacturing operationto China's Lenovo Group. Dell insists it makes money sellingPCs but, by the way, it sure would like to come over and set upyour big-screen TV and home network--maybe even sell you a personalphoto printer over a cup of coffee and some Entenmann's.

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