Hewlett-Packard (HP), one of the biggest company in the laptop PC industry has decided to separate PC and printer unit from the main company.
Financial Times: HP to separate PC unit from software and hardware businesses
It was 13 years ago that HP acquired Compaq, a PC maker. Since I bought Compaq's a desktop PC two decades ago for the first time, I remember it well. Compaq emerged to lower the prices of PC to $1,000, whereas many machines costed $2,000. The quality was not compromised.
After that, HP had been developing as a PC provider, producing printers and some other supplements as well. In late 2000, HP offered some Netbooks, a series of cheap and minimized laptops. In terms of printers, HP is recognized in Japan as providing not qualified, but inexpensive ones.
However, PC industry itself is gradually shrinking. The main reason seems to prominence of demand for smartphones and tablets. Sony also abandoned VAIO, its exceptional blend of laptop PCs recently. VAIO corporation, the company succeeded VAIO from SONY is ambitious to introduce a new tablet. I expect it will create more progressive products.
Engadget: Life after Sony: Vaio shows off hybrid laptop prototype
On the other hand, Panasonic is persistent to pursue its original way; developing less lighter, tougher, and functional laptops, regardless of the cost. It has published a new product of Let's Note, which has only 745g with 10.1-inch display.
The PC industry is going to change. It is difficult to predict the exact figure of the future. But I think that the era led by a few mega companies will terminate.
Formerly, some people, including me enjoyed assembling a desktop PC. Accompanied with decreasing the price of industrial PCs, do-it-yourself became no more than a niche hobby. However, the situation can be changed. Like Google's proposal of self-customized smartphone, it will be easier for amateur to create a computer. 3D printers will have an important role. Many small companies will rise to deliver their own machines for a few persons who like it very much, I dream.
My past entry: Ara, destructive project of Google