NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The technology sector appears to be abandoning an old working concept, one akin to the separation of the branches of government. For years it's been understood that OEM partnerships was the effective model -- which is to split the makers of hardware from those that specialize in software. That's the way it had to be. With the exception of Apple (AAPL), nobody has been able to do both successfully or take advantage of a unified platform.
However, seeing as Apple is outperforming by being its own hardware and software supplier, its rivals have started to mirror that model and hoping for similar results. But will it work? I think that's a bit premature for anyone to say. However, at the very least, just having a unified platform without the right visionary does not necessarily guarantee success either -- just ask Research In Motion (RIMM), which is now on the verge of suffering the same death as Palm while both had the Apple-like benefit of their own. Clearly there is more to it than that. Nonetheless, that's not enough to stop others from trying.
Every man for himself
In a span of only a couple of weeks, two dominant software companies appear to want to enter the realm of hardware. First it was Microsoft (MSFT), which announced its Surface tablet while essentially saying to its partners it is now every man for himself. The company realizes that its own survival should now depend solely on its own success -- I agree.It seems Microsoft has grown tired of taking the blame for equipment that is considered unappealing, especially since it does not have its logo on it. Though this move presents the risk of possibly alienating its current PC partners in Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Dell (DELL), I don't think anyone can blame it for moving in this direction. I think this is an appropriate route as opposed to continually relying on consumers accepting hardware that may or may not be up to par with what Apple is putting out. We'll have to wait and see how this goes. Next it was search giant Google (GOOG) that announced a tablet of its own called the Nexus 7, a device designed specifically for its online store which sells music, movies, books and various content. If this sounds similar to Amazon (AMZN), it was not by accident. Amazon, which launched its highly successful Kindle Fire last year, has become an immediate threat to Apple's iPad to the extent that it has many analysts speculating that Apple will soon respond with a smaller version tablet of its own. While the Fire lacks several of the features of the iPad, its $199 price has proven to be a very attractive trade-off.
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