« « Plan versus Market Explanations in Computer Industry (6)

Competition in Computers among Companies

company competition

The mainframe industry had been dominated by ten giants, including IBM, Burroughs, Honeywell, and Control Data in the United States, and ICL, Groupe Bull, and Nixdorf in Europe, which controlled 65% of the market in 1975 at the height of the central computing era, with another forty companies controlling 32%.

The category ‘‘all others’’ accounted for just 3% of the market. By the 1990s, the industry was populated by thousands of firms, and many of the former giants had either gone bankrupt, been acquired, or were shadows of their former selves. IBM, which accounted for 37% of the world computer market in 1975, had only 14% by 1995.

The ‘‘all others’’ category now accounted for 23% of the market, its growth mirroring IBM’s declining market share. These ‘‘all others’’ included a large number of companies that were able to enter the computer industry because of the PC revolution.

Membership in the top fifty had also changed significantly as well, because many newcomers from the PC industry had replaced older mainframe-oriented companies. Names such as Apple, Compaq, Dell, Microsoft, and Novell were now among the world leaders, replacing the likes of Wang, Prime, Data General, Cray, and CDC.

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