Back in 2009, smartphones were just starting to grow into a more mainstream offering from carriers and retailers, and while their popularity may have somewhat been expected, here we are six years later and smartphones are poised to increase in sales over last year's numbers according to a recent report from Gartner, showing that they're still continuing to grow in popularity. The report also focuses on other devices such as PC's, tablets and clamshells, and records everything in the "millions of units" to display the shipment numbers from 2014, 2015, as well as the predicted numbers for 2016 and 2017. Based on the figures smartphones have increased only slightly but an increase is an increase nonetheless.
The report doesn't focus on or list any shipment figures based on OS platform for mobile devices like Android or iOS, it merely lists the difference in shipments of smartphones, tablets and other devices worldwide from various years. According to Gartner's findings smartphones shipped 1 billion, 879 million units in 2014 globally, with emerging markets continuing to be a driving force for the smartphone market, pushing it upward with China leading the emerging markets. Comparing this to what Gartner's figures are for the 2015 calendar year, smartphones (or rather mobile phones as Gartner has them listed) are poised to ship 1 billion, 940 million units globally this year. That increase continues to shoot upwards with a projected number of 2 billion, 7 million units globally in 2016, and 2 billion, 62 million in 2017.
Tablets tend to be thought of as mobile devices as well, but Gartner has them listed off under their own category here as "ultramobiles." In 2014 Tablets and clamshells made up 226 million units shipped globally, a number which is on target to take a dump to 214 million units shipped by the end of 2015, displaying that people's interest in tablets on a worldwide scale is not at as high as it once was when tablets were newer in the device market. This is likely in part due to the ever-increasing sizes of smartphone screens which are now commonly found to reach in excess of 5 to 5.1-inches, decreasing the need for consumers to own a tablet which is usually purchased for the larger size display. Those numbers are projected by Gartner to swing back upwards however in 2016 to 228 million units shipped which is a couple million more than the number of units shipped last year, and they're projected to increase again in 2017 to 244 million units shipped worldwide. Comparing these numbers to the units globally shipped for traditional PC's, which includes desktops and laptops, smartphones and tablets are moving closer and closer to becoming a main source for internet for more and more people as traditional PC's have been on decline since last year and are projected by Gartner to continue their descent as the years go on.