10 Mobile, PC Hardware Companies Destined for a Rough 2014

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-01-21 Print this article Print

Companies with appealing products and stellar financial results, like Apple and Samsung, tend to get most of the attention in the technology industry. But not every company can produce stellar results even in the booming mobile market. Success by Apple and Samsung mean that other long-established companies, such as BlackBerry, are struggling to survive because mobile handset buyers have passed them by. A number of PC hardware makers are struggling because people are buying fewer desktops and laptops and more tablets and mobile phones. Slowing PC sales also translates into trouble in the PC software market too. Although 2014 is young, the writing is already on the wall for a number of technology firms, as the year isn't shaping up to be a good one for them. From the possibility of going under to watching once-profitable businesses nosedive, the following companies have a wide range of issues that must be addressed if they want a better future. Read on to find out which companies are destined for a troubled 2014.

  • 10 Mobile, PC Hardware Companies Destined for a Rough 2014

    By Don Reisinger
    10 Mobile, PC Hardware Companies Destined for a Rough 2014
  • BlackBerry

    BlackBerry's issues have been well-documented over the last several months as the company went through the trouble of firing its CEO Thorsten Heins and effectively putting itself up for sale. BlackBerry eventually raised cash and decided not to sell to Fairfax Financial. Still, BlackBerry has shown little strategic insight into exactly how it will turn things around. And as its smartphone market share continues to plummet, it appears 2014 might be an abysmal year for the company.
  • Best Buy

    Best Buy, the last major brick-and-mortar tech retailer standing, announced recently that its holiday sales were down compared with the prior year. What's worse, the company said that comparable store sales during the holiday season were down about 1 percent because of a significant reduction in customer traffic during the week leading up to Christmas. All of that follows Best Buy's decision last year to shutter more stores and attempt to quell unrest among investors, who are growing concerned that its future is in doubt. It is.
    Best Buy
  • Microsoft

    Microsoft might still be a wildly profitable company, but 2014 is shaping up to be a difficult year for the software giant. For one thing, it's losing CEO Steve Ballmer, which means some growing pains should be expected. Microsoft is also forced to suffer through another year with the unpopular Windows 8 and watch Google's Chrome OS continue to gain market share. By nearly all measure, 2014 appears to be a difficult year for Microsoft.
  • Panasonic

    Panasonic years ago thought that if it hitched its future to plasmas, it could be successful. But as plasmas started to lose their popularity to thin LCDs and now OLED technology, the company was forced to get out of the market. Meanwhile, it's been hemorrhaging cash and investors have sold shares at an astonishing pace. Worst of all, Panasonic doesn't seem to have such strong prospects for a solid 2014.
  • Nintendo

    Nintendo announced on Jan. 17 that its Wii U has been selling at an exceedingly slow pace. In fact, the company was forced to cut its Wii U sales forecast for this fiscal year by 69 percent. Nintendo chief Satoru Iwata even said that he might need to rethink the company's corporate strategy. Unless something happens quickly, Nintendo seems poised to have an awful 2014.
  • Dell

    If Dell's 2013 was bad, the company's 2014 might be worse. After going private, Dell now can keep its financial woes out of the public eye. However, the company still needs to rebuild a PC business that's on the decline and find a way to appeal more to corporate customers seeking cloud solutions. Right now, Dell is not nearly as competitive in the cloud space as it should be. And its issues last year seemed to make that all the more clear.
  • HTC

    There was a time when HTC was having some success in smartphones, but after the Beats acquisition went awry and Samsung was able to establish itself as the leader in the Android market, HTC was left out in the cold. HTC now has single-digit market share in smartphones and no presence in tablets. Some critics have said that HTC might eventually be forced to bail out and sell to the highest bidder. It should be interesting to see if that happens in 2014.
  • IBM

    What's going on with IBM? Sure, the company is massive and is still capable of generating billions in profits, but the company's revenue slid over $1 billion in the last-reported quarter ended Sept. 30. Market criticism has also cropped up, suggesting IBM isn't doing enough to monetize some of its key assets, like Watson. Judging by the recent tenor surrounding the company, 2014 might be a tough year for IBM.
  • AMD

    Advanced Micro Devices is in a world of trouble. The company has little market share in the PC market and has been ignored in the mobile space. What's worse, AMD had every opportunity to show something special at the Consumer Electronics Show and prove it could make a comeback. Instead, the company's efforts fell flat. Back in July, AMD said that it expected some choppy waters in the coming months and years. One would be silly not to agree.
  • Qualcomm

    Although Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors are still popular in mobile, the company is in the midst of antitrust investigations in China, which could prove extremely damaging to the company. There's also been talk that Google and Qualcomm haven't gotten along too well, and with Samsung and Nvidia delivering newer and better mobile chips each day, Qualcomm might find itself on the wrong end of the mobile battle this year.
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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