The latest blog post on Google’s official blog caught my attention. Due to recent cyberattacks, originating from China, resulting in the loss of some of their intellectual property (fancy term for ‘secrets’), they’re considering withdrawing from the country. Some of the points of interest:

  • 20 companies were attacked: Twenty large companies were targeted and may or may not be aware of it. This has the potential to have far-reaching consequences
  • Google.cn may no longer be uncensored: They’ve come under flak for censoring results in China (human rights ethics, etc.)
  • Google may shut down offices in China: Mass exodus? Baidu.com will use this opportunity to acquire some of the best talent.

I wouldn’t want to be a Google employee in China, or one working on google.cn . I also wish I owned baidu.com [BIDU] stock.

Google Blog Posting :: Official Google Blog: A new approach to China.

In today’s day and age, when Apple is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is usually between iPod, iPhone and Steve Jobs. Despite this, Apple has now risen to the 6th largest PC manufacturer in the world, and 3rd largest in the United States, behind Dell and HP, according to Gartner’s latest report on the topic. In the United States, Apple recorded a staggering 38% growth between 2Q07 and 2Q08.

In late 2004, Gartner predicted that 30% of the top PC manufacturers will not survive. In other words, 3 of the top 10 will not survive by 2007-08. Back then, the top 10 was Dell, HP, IBM, Fujitsu, Fujitsu-Siemens, Toshiba, NEC, Apple, Lenovo and Gateway. That prediction was quite accurate. IBM sold their desktop and laptop division to Lenovo. NEC is struggling. So is Fujitsu-Siemens.

Apple may well be on their way to #2. But, to overtake Dell is a tall order. Apple has to do more – especially in the pricing department. Dell’s aggressive pricing is probably the largest contribution towards their #1 position. But, do they want to be that big? At present, it is cool to own an Apple computer. If it become ubiquitous, will it retain the coolness factor? Isn’t that what it’s all about?

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