The Rising Fall of the Tech Titans

Tech gadget industry leaders may be faltering

 By: Devin PL Edwards, Staff Writer

Consumers test the new HP TouchPad

Via coolinsights, flickr

Computer and tech device manufacturers seem to be having a very difficult time maintaining profit margins and sales projections. With stock prices falling, and even the all-mighty Apple wavering, the future of the gadget market sits in a dense fog.

Hewlett Packard may be getting out of the gadget and computer market all together – announcing plans to leave in order to focus on development, software and solutions – leaving companies like Samsung, Sony, HTC, and Apple to provide for demand; however, HP’s widely reported mismanagement has more than one expert foreseeing their downfall. Last year, HP faced shareholder lawsuits for gross mismanagement. A recent report by SquareTrade shows HP has the highest failure rate for portable computers. In the wake of catastrophic sales, HP dumped stock for its touchpad, leaving distributors scrambling to recoup losses.

[pullquote]…the tech industry is boiling over with patent lawsuits – it seems just about everyone is suing just about everyone[/pullquote]

Following completely untrue rumours of Steve Jobs’ death, Apple stocks plunged in the market. With Steve Jobs’ much publicized failing health, will Apple survive if Jobs doesn’t? History says no: when Jobs was thrown from Apple in 1985, Apple almost crumbled. When he returned in 1996, he turned the company around and formed a corporation that nips at the heels of Exxon for the prize of the world’s most valuable company. Without him, Apple may become a middle of the pack producer.

Sony is barely worth discussing. Stock values have tanked and performance in many of its lines including handhelds has been depressing. Widely publicized hacking of the Playstation network, immediately followed by more widely publicized security failures, have caused consumer confidence to plunge, and while the PlayStation has done well financially, the gaming market alone can’t sustain Sony for long.

 To make matters worse, the tech industry is boiling over with patent lawsuits – it seems just about everyone is suing just about everyone. Apple seems plagued by constant lawsuits from HTC, and vice versa; Samsung is also being sued by Apple and has threatened to return the favour. Sony is, of course, facing lawsuits for the hacking incident, having lost account information on millions of subscribers, and is also facing a lawsuit from LG concerning patent infringement allegations.

HTC, however, despite the lawsuits, seems to be doing very well, reporting high market yields and boasting consistent profits. HTC released the first Android based phone and has been quietly carving out a slice of the market ever since. They are limited, however, in that they really only produce smart-phones and have yet to really innovate any new gadgets, but reports indicate that HTC is building a device based Operating system to compete with Apple iOS, Windows Phone 7, and even their own currently yielded Google Android.

 Apple undoubtedly has the largest market share of the tech device industry, with all the other companies fighting over the scraps. Without Jobs’ unyielding scrutiny and commitment, however, The Tech world might yet find itself in another decade of drastic change.

ARB Team
Arbitrage Magazine
Business News with BITE.

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