The recent quarterly reports from Dell and HP show a sharp decline in the traditional PC business. This article from Larry Dignan at ZDnet summarizes these results and includes statements from both companies regarding said results.
Dell reported a 22% decline in revenue for it's consumer based PC sales from 3.3 Billion to 2.6 Billion from the same time last year (It's actually worse than this because it achieved a 3.7 billion quarter in between these - which is a drop of over 1 Billion dollars in revenue). Dell explains that they have decided to not participate in the low end of the market - which accounts for some of the drop.
HP reported a 10% decline year over year for it's personal systems group from 9.6 Billion to 8.6 Billion as compared to the same time last year, which is better than Dell in terms of percentage but is still a decline in revenue of a Billion dollars. The groups and numbers are broken out is a bit different between the two companies - so HP's strictly consumer PC business could be a bit different than these numbers show.
The real reason for these big holes in revenue is the failure of both of these traditional PC companies to successfully move into the post PC era. Both made attempts at tablets / phones but were unsuccessful. If those attempts had been successful there would not be nearly such huge holes in their balance sheets.
The Dell Streak and HP TouchPad are the most high profile examples of the product misses by the two companies. Both companies have recognized that new products are needed and reacted by attempting to create radically different products from their traditional PC business, but have so far failed to execute successfully.
The Post PC Era is here. If you are only selling traditional PCs you are going to miss out on a large portion of the market.
Apple, Samsung, Motorola (Google), HTC, Asus, and many more smaller companies are rapidly producing new innovative products that are beginning to replace PCs for some people. The numbers are showing this is happening. (Especially if you look at Apple's iPad numbers).
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