This is a recreation of the original article that was published at: http://jeremyreimer.com/postman/node/329
I have written two articles based on this data at Ars Technica:
Total Share: 30 years of personal computer market share figures - December 2005
From Altair to iPad: 35 years of personal computer market share - August 2012
(The second article also includes smartphone and tablet market share and compares them to the growth of the personal computer)
The first personal computer, the MITS Altair 8080, was released in 1975 and changed the world forever. A handful of geeks (Bill Gates included) saw this humble $395 kit as the beginning of something big... but nobody knew how big!
The Altair sold a few thousand units in 1975. Today, more than 300 million personal computers are sold each year! How did we get here, and which computer platforms were around for the journey? A lot of people who have come into personal computing recently do not know that there were once many different platforms-- a glance at a 1980 issue of Popular Computing revealed over 100 different manufacturers of incompatible brands!
The following graphs reveal some of the story, and show the incredible growth of the industry. They should also spark some memories of platforms gone by.
All figures in 1,000’s of units
Download the data in Excel format
Notes on sources
I'm a writer and occasional programmer. I write science fiction stories and novels.
I also write technology articles for Ars Technica.
I'm the creator of newLISP on Rockets, a web development framework and blog application.