“Worldwide PC shipments totaled 72.6 million units in the fourth quarter of 2016, a 3.7 percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2015, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. For the year, 2016 PC shipments totaled 269.7 million units, a 6.2 percent decline from 2015. PC shipments have declined annually since 2012.”
See Gartner Says 2016 Marked Fifth Consecutive Year of Worldwide PC Shipment DeclineYes, for most consumers a PC has become a smartphone and they’ll buy two or three smartphones before buying another desktop/notebook. That confirms my belief that the legacy PC was overkill for most consumers from the beginning. Because it was the only choice it took off but monopoly’s not sustainable. New/better/different technology always comes along.
I’m still surprised how much people will pay for a smartphone. Makers are making huge profits compared to the narrow margins of makers of legacy PCs. Savings are everywhere: material, freight, space at every stage… Even maintenance, which was a big industry with the legacy PC, is almost nonexistent with the smartphone. People break them and just buy another. That way they get the latest technology/fashion. Certainly everyone hated the cables, malware and slowing down of the legacy PC running Wintel. In education where I did most of my computing, the legacy PC was a great boon and a great burden. Many schools could not keep a fleet of PCs running until I installed GNU/Linux which was a lower-maintenance option.
I still can’t use a smartphone very well. I have to squint and hold one close to my eye to use the damned things and my fingers just get in the way… So I hold onto the legacy but at least I’m joining the 21st century by switching to GNU/Linux on ARM instead of what the remains of the Wintel monopoly ships. 2017 should be the last year an x86-based PC runs in my home, except for a print-server. I don’t have an ARMed driver for the damned printer, but that printer is getting old. Maybe it will die…