The Price Of IT These Days

I am glad I have lived to see the day. Today, consumers are paying what IT costs plus a bit for the profit of designing, making, distributing, servicing and selling of the devices. Gone are the days when folks like M$ and Intel just wrote zeroes into the price, what they could get away with given the Wintel monopoly on retail shelves. Today, we wouldn’t pay $1 for a screw that costs 1₵ just because M$ or anyone else has a monopoly on screws sold retail. That’s just as silly for software and hardware as it was for Wintel personal computers.

“The average BOM cost for a white-box tablet – most of which adopted a dual-core processors – stood at about US$25 as of the fourth quarter of 2013. Dual-core processor pricing could not drop any furrther, as their average prices came to about US$4, only less than US$1 higher than that of a single-core one.”

The result is likely that billions more human beings will be able to join the human race of IT-users. That’s good for all of us as communication bridges barriers and has potential to make us all more harmonious and friendly. At the same time businesses and organizations large and small will really be able to act locally while thinking globally. This is important for individuals, education, government, business, and all the daily things we do.

I see this commoditisation of hardware also being a boon for software freedom, the licensing of software with permission to run, examine, modify and distribute software with no strings attached because it delivers software at the lowest cost through re-use, reducing duplication, and recycling software and the ideas it represents. It’s all good. This stimulates creativity everywhere in every way because the cost of entry into the software business is least and the number of users accessible to a developer is maximized.

See China white-box makers add extra value to tablets as cost reduction is no longer possible.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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5 Responses to The Price Of IT These Days

  1. ram wrote, ” Non-UEFI ones are not available for AMD’s latest processors.”

    The companies that depend on system-builders using GNU/Linux had better get their acts together or the decline of the PC will drag down the motherboard-makers as well. I may well have bought my last AMDish mobo because ARM is looking so good. I think Beast uses enough power, the savings on the power bill would pay for the change. Likely a mobo using ARM would use 10-15% as much power and over the years it adds up. Beast likely used 40W idling and I have him running ~12h per day. Over ten years that’s 40 X 12 X 365.25 X 10 / 1000 X 0.1 = $170.

    I still need a server however because we have so many PCs. I would need two ARMed units, or one left on as both a server and my personal machine. I expect in 2014, the right system will become available. I do need some kind of box to plug in several hard drives. Beast has paid for itself but it may be time to retire…

  2. dougman says:

    “Part of the problem is how UEFI was implemented. Microsoft dictated how and buggy implementations were perfectly acceptable… as long as they booted Windows.”

    I do recall how stringent M$ was with regard to UEFI and ARM, in keeping other operating systems out.

  3. ram says:

    New motherboards are still an issue. Non-UEFI ones are not available for AMD’s latest processors. Finding ones for Intel processors is less difficult, in part because Intel will sell motherboards directly.

    The prices on relatively new, but used, non-UEFI motherboards is now significantly higher than for new UEFI boards. UEFI is the problem.

  4. dougman wrote, ” HP is bringing back Windows 7 due to demand.”

    Chuckle. It’s the netbook all over again except that it’s M$’s own product they’re trying to kill this time… 😉

    I think, after 2013, OEMs will resist rushing out with anything bearing M$’s latest product in more than test-batches. Businesses are the only ones buying and they wait a year or more anyway. This is good for consumers in that they will see more offerings of GNU/Linux globally as test-batches too.

  5. dougman says:

    Today I read that HP is bringing back Windows 7 due to demand. I am vocally telling customers to stay the hell away from Windows 8.

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