"Apple Shock" and its effect on the IT industry

It's well known in the Wintel PC industry that Apple has been kicking butt and taking names. Starting last year, Apple's iPad and second-generation MacBook Air started doing some serious damage to many of its competitors. Digitimes Research senior analyst Joanne Chien has a name for this -- Apple Shock -- and says that the effect has expanded as the global economic downturn has worsened.

Chien says that Apple Shock has affected the PC market in three ways. First, combined shipments of the iPad and MacBook Air have surpassed all other brand vendors in the mobile computing device market in 2011 (see graph above).

Next, Chien notes the impact to the market for notebook computers. The iPad has swallowed up a huge amount of demand for devices that are aimed at mobile internet surfing, accelerating the move of the notebook industry into the mature phase of the standard product life cycle. Between the economic downturn and the impact of the iPad, global notebook shipments are expected to drop this year.

Finally, Apple Shock affects the Wintel structure, PC brands, and the supply chain for PC companies. Chien says that all of the players are now "working aggressively" to fight against "their common enemy, Apple." PC companies are beginning to shift their focus from only producing hardware to also adding software to the mix, and suppliers are moving from providing only product designs to adding other services.

Chien's article finishes with the comment that the entrance of the notebook market into the mature phase of the product lifecycle is inevitable, and that the industry is going to experience a "period of reformation" that is expected to cause continued turmoil for PC makers.