In recent years, software has been king in Silicon Valley. Now the pendulum is swinging back, and hardware is taking center stage again, says Bloomberg Businessweek.
The strongest evidence is the tablet war, which has been dominated by Apple’s iPad. Now, however, all the big players are piling in. Within two weeks of each other, Microsoft unveiled its new Surface tablet, and Google announced a partnership with Asustek Computer to build the Nexus 7.
Amazon has been making Kindles since 2007. Barnes & Noble has its Nook e-reader. Oracle purchased server maker Sun Microsystems in 2009 to house its databases.
Fueling the trend for small companies is Kickstarter and other crowd-funding sites. That’s how the iPhone-enabled gTar guitar got its start.
The high tech hardware boom extends beyond personal electronic devices. In the symbolic return of hardware and its manufacture stateside, MET Labs-tested all electric cars from Tesla Motors are produced in a Fremont factory not far from where an Apple manufacturing plant was shuttered in the early 1990s.
Tesla is not the only big name producing locally; Google is manufacturing its new Nexus Q entertainment device in the Bay Area.
We are encouraged by this return to prominence of hardware, not only for the increased business for 3rd party test labs like MET Labs, but also for the return of balance to the U.S. tech industry that will ensure its future health.
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