IS the PC dead? Er ... no, obviously not. But it does look a bit peaky and it has got a nasty cough.

According to the latest figures, PC sales were down 13.9 per cent in the first quarter of the year compared to the same period last year, with a 76.3 million units shifted worldwide.

This marks the sharpest decline in PC sales in a single quarter, and is almost twice as bad as forecast. To find the reasons, you need only look at where you are reading this column now. Provided, that is, that you’re reading it on a smartphone or a tablet and not on our website via a PC.

And, equally, if you’re reading it in hard copy in your lovely new edition of Weekend, then well done. You’ve made a great purchase. But you’ve completely failed to illustrate my point.

What I’m trying to say is this: in the same period, Samsung alone is expected to announce that it sold more than 70 million smartphones — and that’s only 32 per cent of the market.

Add tablets to the mix (iPads, Nexus and Surface) and you can start to see where things are going wrong for the PC. A cultural paradigm shift is happening as you read this).

Even now you’re sitting on your sofa (probably) thinking about doing a spot of online shopping, monitoring your ex on Facebook or finding out the latest football scores.

Can you be bothered to walk into the next room to fire up your PC and wait for two minutes while it starts up? No. Neither can I.

We want that information now. We want it while we’re standing in the checkout queue, we want it when the conversation gets dull int the pub.

With the advent of 4G, giving us superfast internet access everywhere, this sort of behaviour will only increase. And PCs have been too expensive for a long time.

The downside, however, is that the way we access the internet and interact with technology is becoming more controlled.

Compared to the freedom of the PC, using a smartphone or tablet is a bit like wandering round a theme park with Uncle Google orAunty Apple holding your hand.

And now, instead of playing cerebral PC games we’re whiling away the few spare moments in our busy lives matching pointless coloured shapes, running across bridges and chopping up imaginary fruit. This has to stop.