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Can Dell and HP Keep Pace With An Asia-Centric PC World? 218

MojoKid writes "If you've paid any attention to the PC industry in the past few years, you're aware that things aren't as rosy as they used to be. After decades of annual growth, major manufacturers like HP and Dell have both either floated the idea of exiting the consumer space (HP) or gone private (Dell). Contrast that with steady growth at companies like Asus and Lenovo, and some analysts think the entire PC industry could move to Asia in the next few years. The ironic part of the observation is that in many ways, this has already happened. Asia-Pacific manufacturers are more focused on the consumer electronics market and better able to cope with low margins thanks to rapid adoption and huge potential customer bases. Apple has proven that high margin hardware can be extremely profitable, but none of the PC OEMs have been willing to risk the R&D costs or carry new products for a significant period of time while they adapt designs and improve market share."
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Can Dell and HP Keep Pace With An Asia-Centric PC World?

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  • by ElectricTurtle ( 1171201 ) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @12:53PM (#42922271)
    The summary seems oblivious to the ODM/OEM relationships that have existed for decades. Dell and HP don't *make* anything, they just rebrand things made by Arima, Compal, Uniwill, Quanta, Clevo, etc. Taiwan designs and manufactures everything, Dell and HP simply slap some stickers on them and retail them with the addition of whatever service/support package.

    The whole market has belonged to Asia for a generation, and it's not going to change.
  • Re:Easily fixed (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 16, 2013 @01:06PM (#42922349)

    15 years ago, I would've gladly bought made in USA. But now I avoid buying American products as a matter of principal. The way I see it, part of the money I pay gets added to the American military and "intelligence" budget so they can make more wars. Given the choice, I'd buy Chinese, Japanese, or Korean every time. When USA goes back to a peaceful nation and starts cooperating with other countries instead of competing with them, I'll start buying American again.

  • Windows 8 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jbolden ( 176878 ) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @01:10PM (#42922375) Homepage

    Up until 2011 Microsoft's strategy was to drive up PC marketshare but controlling the low end. Microsoft was very worried about initiatives like Sun/Oracle's Java Desktop to use thiner client distributed software and lower end machines. Their strategy was to push the price of PCs down low enough so that there weren't meaningful cost saving is just using server based architectures and local program execution was the norm. This is the same reason they focused so heavily on getting control of web technologies and tying them to Internet Explorer / Windows.

    With the success of open Web Standards the move towards server based services is happening. This has required a strategy change. Windows 8 systems to work well require more expensive hardware. Microsoft is reintroducing margin back into the business and driving the cost of hardware up. They are willing now to sacrifice the low end so that the total experience on rich clients is much much better than on thinner architectures. Dell and HP sell mainly to corporations. Corporations are still years away from migrating to real Windows 8 hardware as a norm. I think this is short sighted on Dell/HP's part because in 5 years there is likely to be margin in the business. They've now gone through most of the lean years and just as the market is going to go back to being high profit they are exiting.

    Once other companies get the experience in making powerful multi paradigm machines it will be hard for these companies to reenter the market. That being said I think Dell isn't existing the PC market, rather I think they going private so they can undergo a restructuring without having to provide regular public scrutiny.

  • by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @01:16PM (#42922415)
    I've built around 150 PCs at my shop thus far and had 1 part failure ever in around 5 years. My computers are absolutely perfect and a 120GB SSD + Pentium G860 + 4GB of RAM system runs around $475, data transfer included. Good luck competing with that. I think people like me are in every town and we're putting HP and Dell out of business. Oh, and if you didn't hear, Best Buy is closing all retail locations over the next 5 years. Yay, we crushed them. Inferior products and services fail in free markets.
  • by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @01:23PM (#42922467)

    Asia-Pacific manufacturers are more focused on the consumer electronics market and better able to cope with low margins thanks to rapid adoption and huge potential customer bases.

    How about:

    (1) Less greed,

    (2) Being nimble

    (3) Proper labor relations and management?

    (4) The sense that, "We can beat them at their game?"

    (5) Proud citizenry - Those Asians usually patronize Asian
        made goods. You ask a Japanese what the best car is.
        They'll tell you it's a Toyota! They then buy that!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 16, 2013 @01:51PM (#42922617)

    I've built around 150 PCs at my shop thus far and had 1 part failure ever in around 5 years. My computers are absolutely perfect and a 120GB SSD + Pentium G860 + 4GB of RAM system runs around $475,

    Jesus Christ you must have a mountain of debt to still be in business.

  • Re:Yes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday February 16, 2013 @02:53PM (#42922919) Journal

    Riiiight, that is why every retailer from Best Buy to Walmart, and nearly all the OEMs from Dell to MSI have tried offering Linux and now avoid it like the black death. You see as a retailer there is one little bitty thing the "FOSSies" as i call them seem to forget...if you don't stand behind your products you are dead in retail.

    What does that have to do with Linux? Simple your drivers are deep fried shit (thus showing that yes you DO need a stable ABI, if you didn't then your drivers wouldn't be getting crapped on so damned often) and your updates remind of Win9X in that they break more than they fix. Don't believe me? Step right up and take the Hairyfeet Challenge!

    You take ANY user friendly distro, PCLOS, any of the *Buntus that has what a Linux users considers to be a normal release schedule which seems to be anywhere from 6 months to a year and a half, take the one from 5 years ago (because as a retailer I can tell you the typical lifespan of a PC now is 5 years) and update it to current using ONLY the GUI, just as the customer who has bought Linux for the first time would be expected to do.

    Know what you'll find? Linux IS BROKEN, I don't give a shit what Use Distro X! [tmrepository.com] you name, I have tried it on a dozen so far and its ALWAYS the same, you have multiple drivers BROKEN and a system that is just a mess, in fact many times if you actually just update the thing as you would expect a normal user to do what you end up with is less stable than Win95. Talk about amateur hour, dead WiFi, graphics drivers shat upon, again doesn't really matter which vendor as they all ended up shat upon, from Intel and Nvidia IGP to Nvidia and AMD discrete, all were crapped on by the updates,sound? Bwa ha ha ha, if you think Pulse is gonna survive I have a bridge to nowhere for sale, and even something as simple as basic wired networking can be hit or miss.

    So I'm sorry but until you get somebody with a brain to be the head of a distro, one who'll flip the bird to Torvalds and just fork the whole damned thing and make a Linux distro where you can update the damned thing without shit breaking? We retailers would rather try to sell Vista than take that POS because it drives our after sale support costs through the roof. This is why the ONLY place you see Linux systems sold is online, because "all sales are final now fuck off" is pretty much the norm when it comes to online sales. this is the opposite of retail where if I told a customer whose PC wasn't even 2 months old "Go Google for a fix" I'd be closing my doors in under 6 months.

    I really wish it wasn't true, that the state of desktop Linux wasn't so piss poor, but it is. why do you think I tried over a dozen "user friendly" distros with that test? Because I WANTED it not to be true, as MSFT gouges us system builders and having a free OS that actually ran well and could be put on all those XP boxes that come through the store? would have been great...too bad the product IS BROKEN.

    Linux works in servers because not only do you have guys getting paid a high 5 figures to deal with broken shit and because frankly a LOT of the problem components just aren't there. You don't see servers running WiFi or even sound and most don't have full GUIs, same thing goes for embedded where you get the added bonus of most stuff is never updated.

    And I apologize for the length but I am fucking sick of FOSSies trying to blame us retailers for Windows while they keep pushing a piss poor broken product that ignores what we retailers have to have to actually put your product on shelves. hell now Ubuntu is killing LTS and going rolling release, so it can break constantly! I swear Linux devs must like in the bizarro world, its like "Quick things am stable! This not good, our users won't feel leet if they not got broken shit to fix! We must throw out all the stable stuff, break the drivers, toss the DEs for alpha quality crap, then users feel am leet!"...sigh. I said a million times here what we retailers

  • Re:Easily fixed (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 16, 2013 @03:22PM (#42923093)

    You seem to be under the assumption that hurting the US economy will be translated into less war-mongering. You don't understand the US.

    What will probably happen is:

    US economy falters. Gas prices soar. Product prices soar.
    Right-wing conservative hawks are elected in response. Half the country gets hopped up on jingoism, (which wouldn't take much).
    Far more US military action world-wide.

    You are much better off keeping the US fat and happy and waiting for more and more social-leaning leaders to be elected.

  • Re:Yes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Areyoukiddingme ( 1289470 ) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @03:35PM (#42923157)

    That ended up as something of a rant, but it's all true. I've been periodically trying to use Linux as my desktop since the late '90s, and it has always ALWAYS sucked. To the point where I abandoned the RedHat distribution in 2001 because of self-contradictory package dependencies. For a while, it was simply impossible to have a sane system at all. I dumped it. I've used Debian since then, but even they have run into that same sort of idiocy. They're all better about packages now, but the driver situation is definitely a disaster. Linux supports a truly impressive array of legacy hardware, but too often, something somewhere is broken and has to be manually tweaked in a config file somewhere. WiFi never EVER works right.

    And yeah, sorry, the whole sound subsystem situation is just beyond retarded. I don't even understand that one. I've been coding to music for almost 20 years now (the sound isolation is absolutely essential in an office environment), and I know I'm far from unusual in that respect, so why oh why is Linux audio an utter trainwreck? It boggles the mind.

    So I use a Windows desktop, and run XWin32 if I need access to Linux GUI apps, and PuTTY for everything else, and it takes something like ChromeOS to finally get close to a Linux Year of the Desktop.

The optimum committee has no members. -- Norman Augustine