Thought-provoking graph showing market share of computing platforms. I think to be accurate (as I commented on the site) then sales of Symbian, Windows Mobile, Palm and RIM should be included, as iOS and Android market gain has come at their expense as much as the PC’s expense (the market hasn’t been ‘stable since 1991’ as noted in the article). Then I think the drop-off in PC market share would look much less precipitous, albeit possibly still extremely worrying for Microsoft et al.This highlights the ongoing problem of what constitutes a ‘computer’ in these terms. Certainly some iOS and Android sales are displacing the PC, but how many? Did Palm and RIM and Windows Mobile also displace sales? What about Symbian? It’s impossible to say with any certainty, but there may still be notable trends to be discovered.
UPDATE: this article provoked a huge amount fo discussion, with people offering additional stats on Smartphone platfoms. See the graph at the end of the article for an update including this data. It strikes me that many of the commenters don’t think outside of Western European and the US markets – to us a Smartphone or tablet may not be a full substitite for a PC (although I’d argue even here they are a direct substitite – many people only use a pc for web browsing, email and the occassional Word document), but in many developing countries this is exactly what’s happening.