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Report: Android To Top 1 Billion Shipments This Year

Shipments of devices powered by the Android operating system will top 1 billion units in 2014, according to a new forecast from market research firm Gartner. As it passes the milestone, Google's mobile operating system will account for nearly half of all device shipments in the year, predicted by Gartner to top 2.74 billion units.

The 26 percent growth over 2013 sales will also strengthen the operating system's lead over the second-place system, Windows, which the company predicts will be on approximately 359 million devices sold in 2014. In third place, iOS and Mac OS gained on Windows in 2013 and will continue to do so in the new year, with projected sales of about 344 million units.

"There is no doubt that there is a volume versus value equation, with Android users also purchasing lower-cost devices compared to Apple users. Android holds the largest number of installed-base devices, with 1.9 billion in use in 2014, compared with 682 million iOS/Mac OS installed-base devices," said Annette Zimmerman, principal analyst at Gartner, in a prepared statement.

Overall the device market, which includes PCs, tablets, untramobiles (defined by Gartner as tablets, hybrids and clamshells) and mobile phones, will grow 7.6 percent over its 2013 total of 2.3 billion units, according to the company, and will top 2.6 billion in 2015.

Mobile phones will make up the bulk of 2014 sales by far, with a projected total of nearly 1.9 billion units compared to second-place category PCs, both desktop and notebook, which the company projects to fall just shy of 278 million. Tablet shipments will surge to finish slightly behind PCs at 263 million for the year on the strength of a 47 percent growth rate, but will overtake them in 2015, according to the forecast, with 324 million tablet shipments and 268 million PC sales. Other ultramobile computers will lag far behind in 2014 with a predicted total of 39.6 million shipments, and will continue to do so in 2015 with a projected total of 63.8 million sales.

PCs are the only category to have declined from 2013 to 2014 and that trend is expected to continue, according to the company, falling nearly 10 million units to just 268 million in 2015.

"The device market continues to evolve, with buyers deciding which combination of devices is required to meet their wants and needs. Mobile phones are a must have and will continue to grow but at a slower pace, with opportunities moving away from the top-end premium devices to mid-end basic products," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner, in a prepared statement. "Meanwhile users continue to move away from the traditional PC (notebooks and desk-based) as it becomes more of a shared content creation tool, while the greater flexibility of tablets, hybrids and lighter notebooks address users' increasingly different demands."

Visit gartner.com to learn more.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is the multimedia editor for Campus Technology and THE Journal. He can be reached at jbolkan@1105media.com.

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