Does hardware matter anymore?

By Preston Gralla, Computerworld |  Hardware

Another big winner will be Amazon. The more cheap devices with Internet access in use, the more people will buy online.

Microsoft is clearly the biggest loser. Its plunging market share and inability to break into mobile in a serious way could lead to a low-growth future dependent on big-ticket corporate sales with little or no traction in the lucrative consumer market.

Apple is a potential big loser as well. All but its staunchest fans may grow weary of paying a premium for a Mac when they can buy a cheap Chromebook that will do whatever they need in an always-connected world. And although Apple is the leader in tablets and has a big share of the smartphone market, it's not clear how long that will continue. Low-cost Android tablets have eaten into its market share. Orders for iPhone displays are said to be about half of what Apple had planned for the upcoming quarter.

Apple's revenue is largely based on hardware sales. If those decline, the company will be in jeopardy.

So get ready for a sleek new world, devoid of hardware screamers and less and less dominated by Microsoft and Apple.

Preston Gralla is a contributing editor and the author of more than 35 books, including How the Internet Works (Que, 2006).

Read more about hardware in Computerworld's Hardware Topic Center.

Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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