INTERNET GIANT Google's Android mobile operating system will reach a user base of almost two billion this year, according to number crunchers at Gartner.
Gartner said that global shipments of everything from PCs through tablets and mobile phones are expected to reach over 2.5 billion units over the next twelve months.
Android alone is expected to see sales of more than one billion devices this year, and this is only likely to increase as Gartner reckons that emerging markets will eventually account for three quarters of all sales.
Overall, mobile phone devices will lead the market, and they will be complemented by other hardware like tablet, notebook and hybrid devices, according to Gartner. The firm predicted that mobile phones will see most sales in midmarket and basic devices compared to high-end handsets, while buyers will continue to move away from traditional PCs.
Ultramobile and tablet computers are likely to enjoy the most success over the next year or so, and Gartner projected shipments shooting from 119.5 million units in 2012 to 324.6 million in 2015. By comparison, over the same period the PC market is expected to move in the opposite direction, and drop from 341.3 million units to 268.5 million.
Android will dominate the mobile operating system league tables because of its ubiquity and low cost.
"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 Gartner principal analyst Annette Zimmerman. µ