Over the last few years, the difference in power between computers and smartphones has been shrinking rapidly. This combined with features that computers could never provide such as portability, increased security with fingerprint scanners and being able to contact people from wherever you are has brought whether smartphones could make computers obsolete into question.
As well as the previously stated benefits it seems as if the future will only deliver more positives that are exclusive to smartphones. The rumours, patents and schematics pertaining to the specifications of the iPhone 8 detail many improvements including: increased security using not only the Touch ID, that has become the standard of Apple products, but also facial recognition, an LED screen with a higher resolution that will provide a clearer image and 3D cameras.
The iPhone 8 and other upcoming phones also detail features which would optimise integration with other revolutionary technologies including VR and AR, this includes a rear vertical camera which can sense the depth and location of objects that are in front of it. This would allow AR applications to more accurately superimpose images onto your surroundings and use them to make for a more immersive experience.
An AMOLED, curved, edge-to-edge display is also mentioned, this will make a better VR experience far more accessible to a wider audience as this would mean that a cheaper headset such as google cardboard could become a truly immersive experience with no buttons impeding your view and no visible screen in your peripheral vision with a brighter, bolder screen.
Even though smartphones are quickly becoming more powerful, there is still a considerable disparity between the processing power of even the best smartphones and PCs. This also brings up the argument that while smartphones are getting better exponentially and are turning into a valid platform for gaming, computers are modular entities. This means users can upgrade them relatively cheaply by replacing their internal components which could provide vast improvements in performance, rather than having to buy an entirely new phone for only marginal improvements.
Smartphones also have the disadvantage of being battery powered and, as they have more components added into them with each new model, the battery drains faster which makes their portability come at a price. Even though companies are trying to solve this with wireless charging and trying to optimise charging speed, desktop computers will always have the advantage in this respect.
With the next generation of smartphones coming soon and the clear implication that they are looking to integrate with VR and AR, competing with computers might not be out of the question. However, the question remains as to whether phones will ever be powerful enough to run such taxing applications well enough to look convincing and keep the user immersed or just be able to run other games with graphics comparable to PC games. For the moment, the power of the PC keeps it from becoming obsolete, but it may only be a matter of time until mobile devices completely outclass even the best personal computers.