Kindle vs. iPad: ‘Nasty’ Tablet War Ahead?

{complink 11480|Amazon.com Inc.} may have what it takes to take on {complink 379|Apple Inc.} in the handset market, according to a {complink 7329|Forrester Research Inc.} analyst. In fact, Amazon is better positioned to lop off a chunk of the market controlled by Apple than many of the major competitors in the tablet sector, including Samsung,…

The Other Europe: A Look at Hungary

After writing my post last week about Poland, I got to thinking about other places in Europe that haven't been much in the news recently but which are also trying to increase their role in the electronics supply chain. Hungary came immediately to mind. (See: The Other Europe: A Look at Poland.) Much like Poland,…

Muddled Thinking Sinks HP

Is {complink 2376|Hewlett-Packard Co.} spinning off, selling, or keeping its personal computing business? A review of business stories since the company announced a $10 billion acquisition and plans to conduct a strategic review of its operations Thursday would seem to imply HP had already concluded the PC division would no longer be a part of…

Europe Economic Seesaw Continues

If there's one lesson to be learned from the current economic malaise, it's that everything has an unpredictable side. Take what's happening in Europe as proof. Last week's crazy market fluctuations touched all the major global companies and created both panic and sheer elation. In addition, the ongoing debt crisis and the European Union's bailout…

Google Draws New Battle Line With Bid to Buy Motorola

{complink 2294|Google} is no longer skirting the edge of the OEM market. The company announced today that it plans to purchase {complink 12925|Motorola Mobility Inc.} for $12.5 billion. That move sets it in direct competition in both the hardware and software space against {complink 379|Apple Inc.}, the top smartphone vendor. The transaction was totally unexpected…

EDI & ROI Don’t Always Mix

In an economy that requires every decision to be economically justified, every business process, application, and change to organizational function is subject to an ROI (return-on-investment) evaluation. But is there a return on investment calculation for electronic data interchange (EDI), or is ROI simply a matter of keeping or gaining a customer? For suppliers, a…

Mixed Signals & Mad Money

Given the state of the global economy, it's not surprising there are mixed signals coming out of the electronics industry. A few weeks ago, {complink 453|Arrow Electronics Inc.}, a $19 billion global distributor (for calendar 2010), reported that although its Book-to-Bill (BTB) ratio had dropped below 1 in late June, July orders were picking up.…

Warning Signals

Everything looks a bit crazy right now, doesn't it? Oil and energy prices are fluctuating. The ongoing worldwide debt crisis is having a chilling effect on government spending. There are shocks in the global stock markets. Japan is recovering from its disaster. Youth riots and public unrest are spreading from North Africa to the Middle…

Economy Watch: More of the Same Till 2013?

OK, here's the bad news: The current economic and fiscal uncertainty in the United States will most likely persist for at least two more years. You probably suspected that already, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the interest rate-setting arm of the Federal Reserve, confirmed as much in a statement following a meeting today.…

Electronics & What Kids Want

The electronics industry always talks about the end-consumer market in a rather impersonal way: There are those buyers in mature, saturated markets; the new middle-class buyers living in emerging markets; the first-mover buyers who sleep in front of shop doors so they can be the first to have the latest gadget; and the women who…