I’ve commented before regarding articles about the slow-down in sales of desktop computers and, going hand-in-hand with this, the idea that desktop computers may be falling out of favor or *gasp* disappearing.
I’ve noted that I don’t believe that to be the case. There are plenty of professionals out there (me included) who absolutely need a desktop computer to do all our stuff on. In my case, writing, Excel, Photoshop, etc. I have a Surface which allows me to do some of that stuff as well and also carry around an iPad which I use mostly to quickly check my email and do some web-surfing when I’m away from my main computer(s).
The thing about the desktop computer sales slowdown, in my opinion, lies in the fact that these computers have gotten too good. There used to be a time when you had to upgrade your computer, often each year, because the new model was so much better than the previous model. For the past five plus years, however, this is simply not the case. The processors haven’t become significantly faster. The operating systems haven’t needed significantly better systems. Worse -at least for the PC makers- is the fact that these computers can last years without needing to be replaced.
Thus, there simply is no cause to buy a new one if you are happy with your “old” system.
Along those lines, there has been much speculation, following Apple’s “all time record earnings” reported last Tuesday, that the company may be, despite this normally good news, in decline.
Over on Slate.com Will Oremus goes into this:
I believe Apple is experiencing (or is about to experience) exactly what the desktop computer market has experienced. Apple’s growth, to my mind, was based on each year coming out with a significantly “better” iPhone or iPad or what-have-you and they have now reached a point where there is no significant innovation to be made upward.
Sure, their new phones may have some interesting new tweaks, but the reality is that this is all these new phones have: relatively minor tweaks. In effect, people can hang on to their “old” phones much longer now without feeling the need to replace them and, as the article above notes, Apple’s bread and butter (and bottom line) relies on the success of their phones.
So if their phones have gotten to the point where people may not feel the need to replace them each year (thus bringing in staggering amounts of cash), will their profits not take a hit? Add to that the fact that China’s market is falling and you have the very real possibility of Apple getting their first major negative news in a very long time.
The people who love Apple and their products may scoff, but I remember not so very long ago that people absolutely loved their Blackberry phones and wouldn’t part with them. So much so the running joke was that the phones should be called “Crack-berries”.
The mighty can, and have, fallen.