Consumers Win as Computer Giants Fight for Supremacy
After more than a decade of dominance from US PC manufacturers such as Hewlett-Packard and Dell, the epicenter of the market has now shifted to the Far East, with China and Taiwan taking over as the leading suppliers in the world. Companies such as Asus, Lenovo and the mighty Samsung are experiencing an increase in their PC shipments, even as the general demand for desktop and laptop computer slows down in favor of tablets and handheld devices.
Flagging economies and a lack of innovation on the part of many manufacturers has seen Asian companies placed in a better position to lead the pack when it comes to supplying computer and memory solutions to consumer markets. Their proximity to supply chains for components, as well as their positioning within growing economies such as China are ensuring that the USA firms are being overtaken as market leaders.
In the fourth quarter of last year, just three of the top ten global computer manufacturers were based in the US: Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Apple. The rest of the top ten boasted bases in the Far East. Through takeovers such as the acquisition of IBM’s PC department by Lenovo, and the buying out of Gateway by Acer, these companies situated in the most rapidly expanding economies on the planet are climbing the ranks.
In the US, the market for handheld devices is largely cornered by Apple and Samsung, with newly-branded Blackberry mounting a renewed challenge to become one of the top competitors. Apple has even managed to create their own niche within the PC market, creating a cult-like phenomenon around the release of their products, and ensuring that consumers are willing to splash out for Macs and Macbooks when they are launched. But Lenovo recently overthrew Hewlett-Packard as the country’s primary provider of personal computers and laptops, and it is anticipated that they will soon join the fray in creating a tablet to rival that of Apple’s and Samsung’s.
In the process of these battles for supremacy, there is one true winner: the consumer. With all of these huge names fighting to be top dog amongst the PC market, companies will start to push the envelope where developing their technology is concerned, and their prices will start to come down as they endeavor to compete with rivals. As companies from the US and the Far East push for the top spot, the consumer benefits every step of the way.
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