Tech Earnings Show If You Live by the PC You May Die by It

These days companies that depend too much on the PC are losing out to mobile and cloud innovators, as indicated by the recent spate of tech earnings reports.

Sure, "Post-PC era" is a cliché. But every good cliché is grounded in truth.

Over the past couple weeks, many of the tech giants reported earnings and it was a topsy-turvy affair. Microsoft is financially healthy but remains suspiciously mum on how Windows 8 is selling. Apple, it turns out, is mortal and at war with itself, and Wall Street has responded in kind. Amazon and Samsung are on an enviable roll with no end in sight.

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If you're a company invested in e-commerce, high-end mobile or cloud (Qualcomm, Samsung, Amazon) you are generally in a happy place. However, if you're still tethered to the PC, you're in a precarious position. Apple, in a league of its own as always but still a PC maker, must face up to sky-high expectations and no new products on the horizon (that we know of). Intel reported that profits were down 27 percent and revenue off by 3 percent for the latest quarter. Dell is frantically trying to reinvent itself with possible investment money from old pal Microsoft.

This is all makes sense given that Worldwide PC shipments for the Q4 of 2012 were down 6.4 percent compared to the same quarter in 2011, according to IDC (IDC had predicted a 4.4 percent decline). It was the first time in more than five years that the PC market has seen a year-on-year decline during the holiday season.

Veteran tech analyst and Forbes blogger Roger Kay explains in more detail what the latest round of tech earnings tell us in a new blog post, "The Collapse of Steve Jobs' Empire and Other Quaint Tales," easily my favorite headline of the day.

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