A new report predicts that one billion Android devices are likely to ship in 2014. Research firm Gartner is forecasting that 1.1 billion Android systems will be sold over the coming year, representing a 26 per cent increase.
The Google-owned platform has been dominating the mobile operating system market, primarily because of its open source nature. While Windows, iOS and Blackberry OS all come installed on very specific devices, Android is the OS of choice for many of the smaller OEMs. The system ships on a number of premium devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 but the vast majority of the 1.1 billion systems will be on low and mid-budget devices.
Gartner’s prediction came in its ‘PC, Ultramobiles and Mobile Phones Worldwide 2010-2017 4Q3 Update’, released earlier this month.
Another pivotal year for mobile
Although Android will continue to be ‘OS of choice across all devices’, Gartner predicted that the Apple ecosystem would be the fastest growing. The research firm forecast that 344 million iOS 7 and OS X devices would be sold, representing a 29 per cent increase.
While Gartner said that Microsoft would see a higher number of devices sold (359 million) it would only represent 9.7 per cent growth. The slow growth will likely be a result of declining PC sales as Microsoft continues the transition to a ‘services and devices’ company.
The explosion of OEMs providing tablets of all shapes and sizes is likely to increase competition, drive down prices and reduce profit margins. While this is good news for consumers, it will mean an increasingly difficult operating environment for smaller manufactures.
Gartner also said that ‘ultramobiles’, which includes tablets, would become the main growth driver in 2014, increasing by a further 54 per cent.
Whether or not some of Gartner’s predictions have to be taken with a pinch of salt, it seems 2014 will be another pivotal year for mobile!