What it is: PC sales continue dropping quarter after quarter with no end in sight.
Remember back in the old days when you needed a PC to do practically anything on the Internet? If you wanted to send email, you needed a PC. If you anted to browse websites, you needed a PC. If you wanted to chat in real-time using instant messaging, you had to use a PC.
Back then, people regularly replaced their PCs every few years because hardware kept advancing. Nowadays, hardware advances provide minimal improvements. A faster processor might make your computer run faster, but it won’t noticeably make you more productive using Microsoft Word or Excel.
Besides the hardware improvements offering minimal improvements, the mobile computing market led by smartphones and tablets, have decimated the PC market. Most people now own a smartphone so there’s little need to keep updating a PC every few years. Smartphones are even more useful than PCs since you can use them for mapping directions, calling services like Uber or Lyft, or taking pictures. While you can do all this with a PC, it’s not as easy or convenient. How many people want to lug around a laptop and take a selfie? It’s possible. It’ just not easy.
Strangely as the PC market shrinks, Apple’s market share grows even though they’re not selling as many Macintosh computers as before. Many people are slowly abandoning PCs and not replacing them at all, holding out longer between upgrade cycles, or switching to the Macintosh. Most likely the number of PC users switching to the Macintosh is greater than the number of Macintosh users switching to a PC. That means a steady flow of new Macintosh users and a steady decline in PC users.
The PC is still useful, but just not necessary or dominant any more. People don’t need to use Windows so when given a choice, many people don’t. They rely on Android, iOS, ChromeOS, Linux, or macOS. All are viable options to using a Windows PC, so that means fewer people need a Windows PC any more.
In the long run, the sales of Windows PCs will slowly and steadily decline because people have so many other options to use instead. The days of the Windows PC are over. There’s nothing wrong with a Windows PC, but there’s nothing it can do that other options can’t do just as well (or sometimes even better).
When Apple releases the iMac Pro later this year, it probably won’t change most people’s mind about the Macintosh. Professional suers will need and be willing to pay the higher price for an iMac Pro. Most other people will not. Then when the Mac Pro arrives later next year, it also won’t attract large numbers of people either.
The shift away from Windows PCs to anything else has already begun and nothing is going to stop this migration. Just as you can expect to see old style cash registers still being used in some stores, so you can expect to see Windows PCs still being used by businesses and individuals. The only difference is that unlike the old days, you’re just as likely to see an alternative to a Windows PC as well.