Commoditization is always a threat to PC manufacturers like HP and Dell, although by most accounts HP has done a better job of differentiating its products
than the competition. But there's also an upside to commodization for these companies: cheaper components. A new research note from a Wall Street analyst argues that both HP and Dell will realize meaningful benefits from cheaper components when they report their coming quarterly earnings
. In addition to lower DRAM and LCD prices, the ongoing price war
between Intel and AMD will prove particularly beneficial. Whether these companies are actually taking advantage of these savings or whether they've been forced to completely pass them on to consumers depends on the market dynamics. Between Dell and HP, they may have enough of a grip on the market to avoid an all-out price war themselves, but such a situation can only be temporary as they'll be forced to cut their own prices eventually.