Worldwide combined shipments of devices — PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones— are projected to reach 2.5 billion units in 2014, a 7.6% increase from 2013, according research firm Gartner. Among the operating system (OS) market, Android is on pace to surpass one billion users across all devices in 2014. By 2017, over 75% of Android's volumes will come from emerging markets.
"The device market continues to evolve, with buyers deciding which combination of devices is required to meet their wants and needs. Mobile phones are a must have and will continue to grow but at a slower pace, with opportunities moving away from the top-end premium devices to mid-end basic products," said Ranjit Atwal, Research Director at Gartner. "Meanwhile users continue to move away from the traditional PC (notebooks and desk-based) as it becomes more of a shared content creation tool, while the greater flexibility of tablets, hybrids and lighter notebooks address users' increasingly different demands."
Mobile phones are expected to dominate overall device shipments, with 1.9 billion mobile phones shipped in 2014, a five per cent increase from 2013. Ultramobiles, which include tablets, hybrids and clamshells, will take over as the main driver of growth in the devices market from 2014, with a growth rate of 54%
In the OS market, Android continues to be the OS of choice across all devices. Gartner estimates that Android will reach 1.1 billion users in 2014, a 26 % increase from 2013. "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 Annette Zimmerman, Principal Analyst at Gartner.