Now, I am over 60 years old and I have seen these cycles many times before, and not just in the computer industry. As a matter of fact, before retiring, I used to teach economics and finance at two universities.
In industry I observed a 'melt-down' about every 8 years. 6 years of build up leads to excess that seems to require a 2 year correction.
When I have been attending conferences and even in the local Internet Café everyone seems to be buying into all of the new and latest technology – the 'bleeding-edge' stuff. Now, I did that myself when, in 1972, I purchased a Lytton EBS 1241 computer for $32,000. The storage medium was punch paper tape, and processing memory was 4K (no M, no G, no T). Like many others I went into debt to finance the purchase. Did I rue the day? You bet.
Worse than the losses of everyone who speculated in this latest real estate bubble; the value of this hardware 'crashed' to about 5% of the original value within 18 months.
Here's what I think. By far the most popular laptops that I saw at the conferences, about 80%, were Apple – MacBook Air. Now, I know that about 80% of those individuals were also living high, off their expense accounts; marketing like crazy – mostly for .com start-ups that had never made a profit, nor likely ever would.
Many of those 'start-ups' were only concepts, they had not even gotten to Alpha testing, let alone market acceptance. Stand by to watch for this next shoe to drop, the Dot.com 2.0 Boom and Bust.