10 Years ago in 2001, HP bought Compaq making Hewlett-Packard the #1 computer vendor in the world. Fast forward to 2011 and both Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal are reporting the HP is about to sell it’s entire computer division.
When I read that, I asked myself, why on earth would a large corporation that spent countless time and money to become the market leader, give it up? Just throw it away. To me, i think it’s clearest signal that the computer business is no longer going to be a profitable business to be in.
Steve Jobs declared in March of this year the the “PC era is over.” A declaration that at the time, I thought was ridiculous. My knee jerk thought was that computers aren’t going anywhere. Every office needs them. But after doing some research and re-considering, I can see why HP is doing what they’re doing.
Basically, the computer manufacturing business has become so competitive that the only way to make money off of them is by doing a massive amount of volume. Companies make little money off each computer sold. And over the last 10 years, business has been great doing it that way.
But now the computer has competition. Smart phones and tablets are becoming more and more popular. Less computers are being sold because of this. And I’m betting that HP is betting that this isn’t going to change. That from this point going forward, there will be less and less computers being sold because of all the new mobile devices coming down the road.
The most startling thing I found was Mark Cuban predicting that this would happen back in 2005. Stunning. He hit the nail right on the head.
This is just another example in business that companies need to evolve when the environment around them changes.