updated 02:40 pm EDT, Mon September 19, 2011
Dell talks HP PC exit and post-PC debate
Michael Dell in an interview Sunday [free reg. required] took a stance that there was no such thing as a post-PC era. In spite of struggling PC sales, he argued to the FT that the PC industry was still growing, particularly in developing countries like China. Smartphones and tablets weren't "necessarily" replacing PCs, and long-term forecasts suggested that would stay the case for years to come, he said.
"There are a billion and a half PCs in the world and while Gartner change their estimates here and there, they also estimate there will be two billion PCs in the world by 2014," Dell said. "So when I look at that, I think the idea that the PC is no longer here is complete nonsense."
Gartner just recently cut its PC outlook for 2011 and blamed a large part of this on the iPad and other tablets. Dell is also known for having so far failed to get much traction in mobile, with neither its Android or Windows Phone devices getting more than a small percentage of the market.
Dell was nonetheless thankful for HP's possible exit from PCs, which HP itself attributed to the iPad. The industry veteran believed that a spun-out HP business was an "enormous opportunity" as it would likely kick the resulting company out of the top five. HP was making a mistake since it was cutting itself out of the chain.
"Devices and the hardware still matter as part of the complete, end-to-end solution," he contended.
The company is believed to be working on at least one tablet, the Peju, which could be upgraded to or eventually ship with Windows 8. Dell wouldn't acknowledge plans but did say his company was "very much in line" with Microsoft and would produce devices that took advantage of the "very blurry" distinction between tablets and notebooks after Windows 8.