How the Scenery Changes

I’m preparing for a presentation on Monday and am using this motion graph, which I was able to export as an animated .gif. Sorry the labels are a bit tricky to read. Thought I’d share it just to show how the scenery changes.


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Ben Bajarin

Ben Bajarin is a Principal Analyst and the head of primary research at Creative Strategies, Inc - An industry analysis, market intelligence and research firm located in Silicon Valley. His primary focus is consumer technology and market trend research and he is responsible for studying over 30 countries. Full Bio

899 thoughts on “How the Scenery Changes”

  1. I found the animated GIF quite hard to see. I downloaded the GIF, opened it up with on my Mac, which shows each frame as a separate image, and examined the charts there.

    I like how your representation shows how PCs as a percentage of computing devices shipped, started to decline as early as 1999, when Symbian started shipping (which coincides with i-mode in Japan). The way you show it, the iPhone and Android seem less of a sudden disruptive event, but more like an extension of a continuous trend starting many years before.

    I’m wondering why you chose to put Android phones at the bottom of the chart. My preference would be to put it next to the iPhone or next to Android tablets.

    1. Since its share is likely to bubble just like Windows/PCs did. Graphically it will show the same story just different characters if it plays out that way. Different share sizes of course thanks to mobile. Historically in a decade or so it may be useful to view it that way. ­čÖé

      I’m already thinking about how to keep my charts for historical purposes ­čśë

  2. Cool. You could make a case that iPhone’s 10% share in 2014 held nearly as much significance as Windows’ 97% share in 2000. It be interesting to see a similar sequence of charts based on revenue instead of units. At least we’d be able to see the iPad label in that case.

      1. I wasn’t referring to Win 97 (was there ever such a product?), rather Windows’ 97% market share 15 years ago.

        My point was that the iPhone today, even with a minority market share, is as influential in the overall computing world as Windows was in year 2000 with an effective monopoly.

        I suppose my broader point was the market share graph might not be as informative as a graph tracking revenue. Follow the money. Of course I have no idea if that data is even available.

        1. Ah, yes. I agree, but see my post today on customer bases. It highlights a great deal about customer segmentation and the big difference in opportunity, particularly now in post Windows PC era.

    1. Yes Palm is not there. Was big enough long enough to really make a dent in the graph. Windows CE/mobile is lumped in with Windows Phone. All small slices of pie.

      1. At its peak, Palm (and Handspring) were selling 8-9 million devices per year, outselling Macs, Blackberries and probably even Symbian.

        1. For only a few years. Not enough to change my graph in any relevant way for the story I’m telling.

  3. From what I remember, back in the late 70s and into the 80s, there were a lot of minicomputers and mainframes being sold as business computers. Have you ever looked at the volumes or more appropriately the user headcount? I wonder if they were even in the same ballpark as the consumer computers.

    The Apple ][, TRS-80s and other toy computers, as they were called at the time by serious journalists, were mainly consumer computers. Apple was one of the few that got traction and that was for spreadsheets. In fact, I know of at least one knock-off to VisiCalc for a minicomputer line that was used for business. It had a WYSIWYG (as long as you printed to a line printer) editor as well as contact manager and a lot of other PC programs.

    Even as late as the mid-90s professional graphics applications were not using PC class computers. They were all highly optimized minicomputers with super fancy graphics processors. I remember watching the circuit board layout designers in their darkened rooms working on Sun (?) workstations. This was just about the time our hardware circuit designers started using PCs for schematics but still using minicomputers for board simulations. Us software guys were still using terminals but instead of connecting to minicomputers running a proprietary OS it was Xenix systems on x86s. Shortly thereafter, we switched to creating x86 notebook computers.

    1. Yes, I’ve tried to find DEC, Wang, and many others sales volumes and I can’t find them publicly. Our firm may have had some since they tracked sales at that time but none of the records were digital so its a dead end. I’d love to have all the sales data of all the computer products but it seems impossible to find.

  4. Hi Ben,

    I don’t know what app Horace is using at, but it is excellent and smooth in presenting the animated data picture your gif is attempting to present. Check it out with Horace. The app is excellent (Yes, I’m repeating.).