BANGALORE, INDIA: Number 13 is considered to be unlucky and is synonymous with bad luck. It will be interesting to watch whether the new year, ’13 spells doom for some of the technology majors. Going by the turbulent period experienced by some companies like HP, Microsoft, RIM, Cisco, Dell, Apple and Nokia in 2012, here we analyse what the new year might hold for them.
Let’s see why we consider 2013 a tough year, if not unlucky, for these companies
HP: This PC, printer giant could not repeat its success when it came to tablet and smartphone markets. Its late entry into the tablet space, and with no strategy around smartphones yet, 2013 will be a difficult period for the Palo Alto, California based computer giant.
Despite having a great platform, Palm, the company has not been successful in putting it into the right use till date. So, even if it decides to enter the smartphone market next year, the competition from Samsung, Apple will be very fierce. The company has made some moves into the SDN and cloud space, but is yet to see some movement there.
Moreover, it could not even sustain the hold it had in the PC market, supposed to be its core strength. Lenovo gave HP a run for money as well as marketshare when it surpassed HP for the first time in October 2012.
It will be interesting to see how the current and former EBay chief Meg Whitman will be able to make the turnaround that she has been talking about and give some breather to this struggling company. However, does she have enough time at hand?
Cisco: During the annual financial analyst conference call, Cisco chief John Chambers said that out of Microsoft, International Business Machine (IBM), Oracle, Hewlett Packard (HPQ), and SAP AG (SAP), considered to be the industry leaders for several decades, two or three will not figure in that list five years from now.
Now, whether that happens or not, it will be interesting to see how this hardware networking giant will try and sustain its leadership and as well as from small competitors such as Juniper and Polycom, who have been making remarkable inroads into the former’s core sectors. It has been facing tough challenges from within as the networking industry is undergoing a transformation and moving towards being a software centred world.
Though it announced its plans to double software business in the next three to five years, and is set to make some bold moves into the software space, with a few announcements and acquisitions with regard to SDN and cloud. However, commoditizing its own products in order to transform into a software player from being a long time hardware player will be tough.
Apple: Is Apple losing the magical appeal it once had and have Apple lovers had enough of the ‘old wine in a new bottle’ feeling everytime it announces a new device? Well, to an extent yes.
The company has been facing a dearth of innovation for quite sometime now. All we get to hear is the new generation of its old products.
And, now that there is neither a Steve Jobs who can guide it how to tackle Samsung, nor has it been able to bring out any new product ever since Jobs’ death, upon which it can start the next wave of smart devices, can it survive with many more iPads, iPods or iPhones in 2013?
Nokia: We once termed it as the handset major, where Nokia lovers took pride in being one and were looked upon as the elite class. However, it lost when it came to the smartphone era. For one, it was late when it announced its first smartphone with the Lumia range of Windows devices and two, its Symbian range could not cash in on much as expected.
Samsung had by then sweeped the smartphone market along with Apple with their Android and iOS platforms respectively.
In terms of marketshare, it not only lags behind Samsung and Apple, but also behind a struggling Blackberry. Some analysts might argue that Nokia should have gone with an open source platform like Android instead of Microsoft’s, but the harm is already done.
Let us only hope that it does not fade into oblivion as Kodak did as it could not sustain the digital camera wave.
Dell: This one too could not sustain the post PC era wave. Will be an interesting watch in 2013.
RIM: Its Blackberry devices used to be a synonym of business class phones, and is still considered to be so, but then smartphones were not all about business class alone.
Although, it made some futile attempts to rope in the younger lot, the latter by then had other better options available. Moreover, it could not launch its much touted BlackBerry 10 OS in 2012, as promised, and saw itself amidst many controversies with regards to its security policy.
It will be a make or break situation for it in 2013.
Microsoft: It has a tablet of its own, a search engine from its own kitty and also a smartphone OS that it can boast of. However, Microsoft has been visibly struggling despite these factors in its favour. PC industry has slowed down and so has its monopoly over the computer operating. In this age of smartphone its Windows OS has not been a success. Bing has still a long way to go before it could be even considered as a Google competitor. Moreover, its Surface tablet has not seen many takers as well. So let us see what new trump card will it play in 2013.