Re: Mature Market
I wish to point out, and I agree with you, that the hardware does last for years. I'm talking from personal experience here. I recently replaced a traditional hard drive in my machine with a SSD. The hard drive is still functioning and was manufactured in 2008, which is around the time that I bought it and installed it. The performance increase is night and day. I've had video cards with ATI chips last 7-10 years. I have a Sound Blaster LIVE card from the late 1990's that still works, but is no longer supported by anything. My video card is a ATI Radeon HD 5670. Well out of date and support, but it still works quite well. It's outlived two monitors thus far. I also had an ATI All-In-Wonder card that lasted 10 years or so.
What usually drives hardware sales is performance. What drives the need for performance? Games. As new games come out that takes advantage of high end GPU hardware, rendering performance is critical here. Although the CPU to video bottleneck is there, the bigger bottleneck is CPU to mass storage (hard drives) which SSD's has mostly solved. I usually buy parts when that part no longer does what I need it to do. I bought the SSD because the drive it replaced is 12 years old, and the chance of complete failure in the near future is becoming more and more likely. I also bought a 4TB drive as a new backup drive because the 2TB drive is about full. One of these days, I will buy a new video card and a new monitor to take a look at this 4K and 8K video. As a software developer, 1920x1080 is getting a little cramped on my screen. I have even thought of doing a dual monitor setup, but I'm still on the fence about that. My usage patterns for desktops includes gaming, graphics, and browsers. But it also includes media processing, running IDEs such as Visual Studio and Android Studio, emulators, and virtualization. The last two are major resource hogs.
The PC market is becoming like the market for refrigerators, washers, and dryers. Once you saturate the market, the only sales that you will have are replacement units (barring new construction of course).
And that 12 year old hard drive? It's a Western Digital 300GB that spins at 10,000 RPM. It was a quick little sucker back in the day. I believe I paid $349.95 for it at Fry's Electronics.