Crossing the PC/CE Divide
How Can PC Industry Companies Compete in Consumer Electronics?

Product Type: Strategic Analysis
Date: March 2008
Author: Gary Sasaki, Chris Pedersen
85 pages
Price: $50

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Markets have a lifecycle that eventually reach maturity where growth slows and margins slim.  Such is the case for the PC Era where even higher margin notebook computers are dipping well below the $1,000 price point.  PCs got a boost at the turn of the century with the earlier introduction of Mosaic and subsequent explosion of the Internet.  But, the industry had already sensed that it was time to find new markets for growth. 

For many PC industry companies, consumer electronics looked promising.  The infection of the consumer electronics industry with digital technology has created many new opportunities, new product categories, and lots of excitement.  One only need look at the demise of Comdex and the size of the Consumer Electronics Show.  So, a parade of companies started to explore opportunities in CE, some more successfully than others.

This report looks at four such companies - Hewlett Packard, Dell, Microsoft and Intel.  A brief history of each company's attempts at CE is provided.  Active attempts at CE are analyzed closer.  We've also given a letter grade to these attempts and conclude with analysis and recommendations for each company.

Finally, we step back and look at the bigger picture of the PC to CE transition challenge.  Specific recommendations are given for any company with roots in the PC industry that has their eyes set on the consumer electronics markets.

Download a free excerpt and see the attendance of Comdex and CES over the years.