Walking past Apple's sleek shop along London's Regent Street on Sunday, my wife asked me what I wanted for Father's Day.
The Great Debate UK
2010 is a great time for the web. Innovation is thriving as new services and content flourish on smartphones and laptops, thanks in good part to industry leaders like Apple and Facebook.
from Reuters Investigates:
The world's biggest software maker once inspired fear in tech land. Today it's mostly yawns. Is Microsoft no longer a growth company? Should Google be nervous, too? And are Steve Ballmer's days at the helm numbered?
The iPad's destructive reach seems to be extending further and faster. Apple's tablet is taking off at a breakneck rate. Analysts now predict up to 40 million will be sold in 2011. With personal incomes and spending stagnant, it's looking like a zero-sum game in consumer electronics. Forget PCs and netbooks. The iPad will eat into camera and GPS device sales too.
At Apple the gadget, not content, is still king. Nearly every day brings a new contestant in the emerging battle for the attention of the American couch potato. Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and YouTube all want to serve up content. While Apple also rents out video, its new TV device allows users to stream rival services. Unlike the other players in the fast-moving video web arena, Apple's still all about the hardware.
The electronic book market is looking increasingly hot, flat and crowded. A vicious price war has broken out among producers of digital readers thanks to Apple's success with the iPad. Companies such as Amazon hope that selling tomes across multiple devices will fill the profit gap. But competition in e-book distribution is heating up and could pressure margins there, too.