That did not take long. Barely 10 years after the advent of iPhone, we may very well have entered The Golden Age of Smartphones, and, of course, that age was started by iPhone and then copied by Google’s Android.
Tim Bajarin thinks we may be entering The Golden Age of Mobile Computing, and that covers a broader swatch of the tech industry than just iPhone. Think notebooks and tablets; MacBook Air and iPad.
What else is new?
Demand for PC’s has decreased in the last 10 years, but PC makers still sell about 270 million PC’s and laptops each year worldwide.
The PC market remains huge. Apple sells about 20-million Macs per year and double that number of iPad models, so, combined, the iPhone maker is one of the largest PC manufacturers on the planet, and PC sales are dominated by mobile devices.
While desktop computers are still made, they represent only about 20% of all PC’s shipped today. The real PC workhorses that fuel a much more mobile business lifestyle are notebooks and laptops that drive today’s productivity, education, entertainment and social media applications.
That holds true for Apple, too, as the company often states about 80-percent of all Macs sold are notebooks. The rest, about 4-million Macs per year, are divided up between Mac mini models, iMac models, the iMac Pro, and Mac Pro.
The Golden Era of Mobile Computing? Sure. The industry has reached the status of mostly iterative improvements on the various platforms. Notebooks are lightweight clamshell devices. Tablets and smartphones are little more than they were 10 years ago– flat slabs of glass with rounded corners.
What has changed?
The first break with traditional clamshells came in 2012 with the introduction of what Intel called “2 in 1’s.” These were fundamentally a tablet with a detachable keyboard. Wired called them “laplet’s” at the time. Some called them “hybrids.”
Those 2-in-1 PCs, as exemplified by Microsoft’s Surface notebooks with a touchscreen that seldom get used, remains an iterative improvement, and nothing of groundbreaking status.
Maybe we’ve reached the Bah Humbug Era where technologists predict all sorts of new advancements– many of which were predicted decades ago– only to be disappointed.
Foldable screens in notebooks, tablets, and smartphones?
Sorry. That is an iterative change, not revolutionary. Everything remains clamshell-like or flat slabs of glass with rounded corners.*
And over the next three years we should see a perfecting of foldable screens that could be used in laptops as well as smartphones.
The Golden Age of anything means simply that iterative change happens incrementally, and revolutionary changes that disrupt the entire market take much longer to achieve.
iPhone was a disruptive influence, propelled by Google’s thievery of the platform in Android.
What of the future? What comes after The Golden Age? Disruption. It isn’t here yet.