Is EEE linked to the IT sector
Apple and Co .: The largest IT companies in the world under review
No year has shaken the information, communication and entertainment electronics industry as shaken up as in 2012. The once market-leading mobile phone manufacturers Nokia and Research in Motion (RIM) are now only a shadow of themselves, Samsung is now the global mobile phone market leader, the chip manufacturer Qualcomm is worth more on the stock market than its gigantic competitor Intel, the online retailer Amazon has become a major tablet manufacturer, Sony's market value has halved since April and Microsoft is in the middle of a dangerous self-discovery.
Even if every company has its own problems, they have one thing in common: They underestimated the paradigm shift from PC to mobile devices and the importance of operating systems like Android.
While the sale of smartphones and tablets is steadily increasing, the global PC market has recently shrunk by more than eight percent, according to the figures from market researchers from IDC and Gartner, and by a fifth in Germany. The number of smartphones used will triple to 3.3 billion by 2018, predicts the world's largest telecommunications equipment supplier, Ericsson. And IDC is assuming 50 percent tablet growth this year.
Battle for supremacy in operating systems
While consumers have never before had a larger selection of smartphones, tablets and notebooks, many manufacturers are not able to benefit from this variety of offers. Of course there are winners: Apple is one of them, as is Samsung. In the cell phone and tablet business, they attract the majority of the growth.
And the battle for the supremacy of mobile operating systems has also been decided: Google's Android software is the clear winner with a market share of three quarters. There are now almost as many applications for Android smartphones as there are for the iPhone.
Nokia has made a fresh start in the smartphone market this year. Together with Microsoft and the Windows Phone 8 software, the Finns are trying to take a piece of the pie. It is uncertain whether that will be successful. The system has only been on the market for a short time and Nokia has put everything on one card. Failure would probably mean the end of the manufacturer - at least in its previous form.
The Blackberry manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM), which also wants to use a new operating system, but did not make it into stores with the new product during the Christmas business, is doing similarly. The RIM market share is falling sharply. At the end of January, new Blackberrys should come and bring about a turning point.
Dinosaur HP and Dell
With that in mind, computer manufacturers like Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Dell look like dinosaurs. Both groups have lost a large part of their market value this year. They jumped on the tablet trend late. HP even wound up its previous Palm tablet division and discontinued its production shortly after the launch of a new tablet.
But the companies are not only fighting for customers, but also in the background: Intel still does not play a significant role with its chips in mobile devices. Most cell phones and tablets have processors based on the design of the British company ARM. ARM licenses its design to chip manufacturers. The most important of these manufacturers is Qualcomm, which makes almost three times less sales than Intel, but is worth significantly more on the stock market.
In fact, for most companies, business has become more complex. Amazon is not only fighting against other retail groups. With its Kindle tablets, the online retailer has now also become a competitor to Apple and Samsung. Google is no longer just a competitor of Microsoft, but, since its acquisition of Motorola, it has also competed with other smartphone manufacturers that were previously only partners of the software giant.
The relationship between the giants Apple and Samsung shows how complex the industry is worldwide. On the one hand, the iPhone manufacturer is the Korean company's most important customer for various components. On the other hand, companies fight each other in court for patent infringement.
This is how the individual companies are currently:
Market value: 87.3 billion euros
Price-earnings ratio 2013: 69,9
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