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10/8/2010
09:31 AM
Bob Evans
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Global CIO: As Apple Soars On iPad, Should Microsoft Acquire BlackBerry?

Apple might sell a mind-bending 45 million iPads next year, while Microsoft's only smartphone salvation is to buy BlackBerry maker RIM.

We have seen the future of the PC, and it is the iPad.

Although it's been on the market for barely half a year, and although Apple's category-busting device has consistently shattered even the most wildly optimistic sales expectations, the iPad appears to be just warming up: one analyst says the company's gearing up its supply chain to sell a staggering 45 million iPads in 2011.

That's 123,287 iPads per day. Or 5,137 per hour. Or 1.43 per second.

Just a couple of weeks ago at Hewlett-Packard's analysts' day, the company that the media constantly refer to as "the world's leading PC manufacturer" said its vaunted global supply chain and powerful PC brand enable it to sell 2 PCs every second, and that's a terrific achievement.

But if the projections for Apple to sell 45 million iPads next year are even close to accurate, that means a product barely one year old will itself become a significant challenger to the massive PC business that HP says undergirds the entire purchasing and sourcing strategy for the entire $130 billion company.

Are we hitting one of those axis-shaking inflection points in the PC business? Are we approaching the point where people will soon look at laptop computers as little better than the 25-pound luggables of the early 1980s?

Meanwhile, another IT titan deeply enmeshed in the mobile revolution but with very different results might have to look far outside its own walls if it expects to remain viable in the enterprise-mobility market.

Mighty Microsoft finds itself now hopelessly behind in the smartphone business, where BlackBerry's huge installed base is impressive and lucrative but also under very serious attack from Apple's iPhone and Google's Android.

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And Microsoft's only hope for salvation, says one analyst, is to acquire BlackBerry maker RIM.

From a post on seekingalpha.com by Mark Riddix called Why Microsoft Should Buy Research In Motion:

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