Gateway Swallowed Up - End of American Dominance?

Fortune's David Kirkpatrick wrote an interesting article that asked whether the acquisition of Gateway by the Taiwanese company Acer is a signal that American dominance of high tech has ended. 

Personally, I don’t think it’s the right question.  Computers have become commodity devices and long ago passed from being a high tech, cutting edge product.  Their commoditization meant that oversees companies with access to cheap labor forces were eventually going to have the advantage.  IBM recognized this when it sold its PC business several years ago.

The US companies that have survived have carved out their own niches – Apple in design, Dell in customization – and are using that add value onto a product that has really hit the end of the road in terms of radical innovation.

Instead, American companies have realized that value lies in the services and applications which sit on the network.  And to some degree, the proliferation of new devices (iPods, cellphones, video game consoles, etc.) that are used to access the network.  Content and applications are now king.

This does not mean that globalization isn’t a real force.  Increasingly, tech companies must be global and this means that foreign companies will have just as much a chance to capture the world market as US companies do.  But the most exciting companies in the computerized hi-tech world are still American – Google, MySpace, Microsoft, Facebook, VMWare, etc.  Until a foreign name is added to this list it’s hard to argue that American companies aren’t still dominant in emerging technologies.   

Sol Nasisi
Sol Nasisi: Sol Nasisi is the co-founder and a past president of BestCashCow, an online resource for comprehensive bank rate information. In this capacity, he closely followed rate trends for all savings-related and loan products and the impact of rate fluctuations on the economy. He specifically focused on how rates impact consumers' ability to borrow and save. He also has authored a wee

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  • JBRobertson

    August 28, 2007

    Gateway was hardly ever a dominant or influential company. It was second fiddle to Dell from 1996 to 1998 and most Americans don't even know that the company is still in existence these days.

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