Emboldened by Apple’s iPhone success, PC makers charge into mobile-phone business

“The computer industry has hit upon its Next Big Thing. It is called a phone,” Ashelee Vance reports for The New York Times.

“Emboldened by Apple’s success with its iPhone, many PC makers and chip companies are charging into the mobile-phone business, promising new devices that can pack the horsepower of standard computers into palm-size packages,” Vance reports.

MacDailyNews Take: Gee, you’d think that they also own PA Semi so they can do their own custom chips that’ll run rings around off-the-rack parts? Alas, they do not. Only Apple owns PA Semi.

Vance continues, “‘The action is really with the smartphones where everyone is competing to cram the most features into a phone,’ said Linley Gwennap, a veteran chip industry analyst and head of the Linley Group.”

MacDailyNews Take: It’s not who has the most features, it’s who has the most features people can and do actually use. In software and UIs, as it has been for decades, there is only Apple and a bunch of derivative also-rans.

Vance continues, “It is a development that spells serious competition for established cellphone makers and phone companies. Apple was the first to spot a sleepy industry, shaking up the handset category two years ago with the iPhone. Until recently, the handset makers were the ones reacting to the iPhone — and then with me-too products. Now fellow PC makers are announcing plans for smartphones in a variety of sizes, shapes and abilities.”

MacDailyNews Take: PA Semi.

Vance continues, “With smartphones and PCs taking on many of the same functions, there is certainly a fear among PC makers that if they do not get into cellphones, cellphone makers will start building PCs. Acer has characterized the smartphone business as a volatile battlefield, saying it needs to fire first and go after the cellphone makers before they come after it. Indeed, Nokia, the world’s largest cellphone maker, has said it is weighing whether to get into the PC business.”

MacDailyNews Take: Yeah, uh, you can keep it Nokia. You can’t even make the world’s best smartphone, now you’re considering making PCs? Puleeze.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Scopie” and “Michael S.” for the heads up.]

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