When Apple unveiled the iPhone in 2007, it was easy to dismiss notions that smartphones like it might eventually displace the almighty PC. At the time, PC sales were still booming, and the device was the center of computing. Not only could you not download apps to that first iPhone, you couldn’t even copy-and-paste on it.
More than a decade later, things have definitely changed. Sales of smartphones surpassed that of PCs long ago, and the ever-growing stable of smartphone apps have transformed the devices into powerful pocket computers that can not only do much of what PCs can do, but a lot more besides. The effect on the PC industry, as we can see in this chart by Statista, has been dramatic. PC shipments have not only fallen for six straight years, they’re now below what they were when the iPhone came out.
What does the future of the PC market look like? With the smartphone having taken over as the mainstream computing device, electronics makers are starting to reposition the PC as a pricey gadget designed for niche audiences.