GOOGLE'S MOBILE OPERATING SYSTEM (OS) Android will hit one billion shipments in 2014, analyst firm Gartner has forecast, while sales of Windows PCs will decline.
Gartner's figures show that global shipments of total devices including PCs, tablets and smartphones will hit 2.35 billion in 2013, a 5.9 percent increase from 2012, but sales of PCs are forecast to drop by 36 million to 305 million, a 10.6 percent decline from 2012.
Between Android, Windows, Blackberry and iOS devices, Android demonstrated the biggest growth in Gartner's report, jumping from 505,509 devices shipped in 2012 to 866,781 deivces shipped in 2013. The analyst firm expects that 1,061,270 devices will be shipped in 2014.
This perhaps will be helped by the expected growth in tablet shipments of 67.9 percent, with sales reaching 202 million units this year, while the mobile phone market will grow 4.3 percent, with volume of more than 1.8 billion units this year.
By contrast, Windows PC shipments will slump to 339 million in 2013, but are expected to rise to 378 million in 2014. BlackBerry will also suffer as its shipments will fall to just 22 million by 2014, Gartner claimed.
Although sales of PCs are in decline, there is some good news as Gartner said demand for "ultramobile" devices such as Chromebooks and Windows 8 slate devices will rise as end users start to prefer lightweight devices over large desk-based PC systems.
"The sharp decline in PC sales recorded in the first quarter was the result in a change in preferences in consumers' wants and needs, but also an adjustment in the channel to make room for new products hitting the market in the second half of 2013," Gartner reported.
Gartner research VP Carolina Milanesi said that the growth for Android was impressive but, while Android had bigger numbers, Apple was better placed due to its position in all market spheres with tablets, phones and increasingly computers with its Mac OS devices.
"It's now a war of the ecosystem across all devices but Android is skewed towards the mobile phone where it has a lot of volume. This is mainly due to the white box vendors, though, in emerging markets, and there's not a lot there for Google to take advantage of," she said.
"Apple's numbers may be smaller but it has a very good presence in the phone and tablet markets and a rising presence in the PC market at a time when everyone else is struggling." µ