CEOs Sacked, Cloudy Forecast. Consolidation Coming?

Here are the new kids on the block: Samsung, Motorola, HTC. Maybe LG.

Here are the guys who don't get it. Let's call them the "old guys": Asus, Acer, Lenovo, Dell, HP...though HP gets a pass because its Palm acquisition has yet to play out. RIM probably belongs here too given the limitations they've put on Playbook and the weird marketing.

Wild Cards: Amazon And Barnes and Noble. Sony And Nintendo Should be with the Old Guys but I'm gonna give them the benefit of the doubt.

So far, the new kids are doing well. Dazzling the market with new Windows Phone 7 and Android gears. And just completed 3 months of 2011, we'll see more Android 3, Honeycomb, tablets hit the market and continue what the iPad did last year: putting a hurt on the laptop market and possibly finishing off the netbooks.

The old guys spew a lot of double talk about how their experience in enterprise will ultimately demonstrate that they new guys's tablets, including the iPad, will not have a chance. They came out with fuzzy math to show how the tablet is more expensive.

And yet, so far, vaporware.

Because it's a Friday afternoon, let me put this out there. Dell is going to fail. The rest of the old guys probably will struggle bit time as well as the mobile market shifts in terms of needs and what the new type of computing the tablets represent.

And like HP having to go out and buy Palm for the Web OS, I wonder if others will need to do the same to stay viable over the next decade.

Dell has to make an acquisition or two. As an old guy, Dell is still making loads of cash. And the PC market isn't just going to disappear overnight. And of the new guys, Motorola Mobile (MMI) is the weakest and smallest.

Can Dell come in and scoop them up and instantly gain strong street cred with Xoom and Droid? It has done that in the past with the gaming laptop maker, Alienware. On top of that, there's talk that Motorola is making their own OS to distance themselves from Android and Windows Phone 7.

Dell will probably see what their lineup will do against others. It will gain no traction and the blogs and investors will demand action. They'll probably have to go out buy what they need. All that matters is when Michael Dell pulls the trigger. I'm predicting it'll be Motorola because RIM will be too expensive. Plus, RIM's got a couple of erratic co-CEOs that might clash with Dell.

For the other old guys, 2011 will be exciting not because of their new products which are largely based on old thinking but what they will do once they fail. Aside of HP's Touchpad, the rest of the Android tablets will be hard to differentiate. And though some might hope that a Windows tablet OS might save them, that is probably a 2012 thing, more likely 2013 given Micrsoft's track record to promise but under deliver.

The ebook sellers and the gaming guys, Wildcard guys, present a very interest dynamics going forward. And they have an opportunity to play big roles or completely disappear into nothingness. I'm looking foward to speculate what could come of them.

Right now, the situations for the old guys are more dire. HP has to succeed with the Touchpad and the next Web OS smartphones. Dell will fail miserably and look for an answer through a buyout.

The same is probably true for the rest of the old guys. Their only opening is in Asia where many of these old guys can still count as their stronghold. However, that window will close quickly once Apple has its iPad 2 supply issues figured out (Steve Jobs has $60+ billion in the bank to do just that) and more Apple stores start opening up.

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