A recent study by Gartner estimates that by the end of 2014 more than 1 billion Android devices will have shipped worldwide. Apparently, the biggest factor for these impressive numbers seems to be the increase in tablet sales and thusly the shrinking PC sales numbers. More specifically, the market is "being driven" mostly by the increasing demand for tablets, smartphones and even ultramobiles. Ultramobiles are basically notebooks like the many Chromebook models with a thin design, that generally include minimal boot times.
The tablet market has seen a growth of about 67.9% up to 202 million units in 2013. The mobile phone market, on the other hand, is is up by 4.3%, with a total of 1.8 billion units. Tablets are actually expected to see another growth of about 37% in 2014. It doesn't take a genius to see the tablet market is increasing exponentially. Apparently, the lower numbers from the smartphone market are because consumers wait longer to upgrade their devices or for desired handsets to launch. This is certainly true, as I have an upgrade available, but I'm holding off for the release of the Galaxy Note III. If I'm not impressed by it, I'll either go with the HTC One or I'll weigh my options at that point.
Carolina Milanesi, Vice President of research at Gartner had the following to say:
"Consumers want anytime-anywhere computing that allows them to consume and create content with ease, but also share and access that content from a different portfolio of products. Mobility is paramount in both mature and emerging markets."
"Although the numbers seem to paint a clear picture of who the winner will be when it comes to operating systems in the device market, the reality is that today ecosystem owners are challenged in having the same relevance in all segments. Apple is currently the more homogeneous presence across all device segments, while 90 percent of Android sales are currently in the mobile phone market and 85 percent of Microsoft sales are in the PC market."
Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner believes current trends in the tablet market contribute to its remarkable growth.
"The increased availability of lower priced basic tablets, plus the value add shifting to software rather than hardware will result in the lifetimes of premium tablets extending as they remain active in the household for longer. We will also see consumer preferences split between basic tablets and ultramobile devices. With mobile phones, volume expectations for 2013 have been brought down as the life cycles lengthen as consumers wait for new models and lower prices to hit the market in the Fall and holiday season. The challenge in the smartphone market is also that, as penetration moves more and more to the mass market, price points are lowering and in most cases so do margins."
Long story short, mobile phone and tablet sales are going crazy. What do you think of these numbers? Do you think the predictions are accurate?