Android is on pace to surpass 1 billion users across all devices this year, according to a new report by information technology research and advisory company Gartner. Though Android reached 1 billion total activations in September, this is the first time that active Android users will total 1 billion.
After studying trends in traditional PC, tablet, ultramobile and mobile phone shipments worldwide, Gartner predicts that combined shipments of all devices will reach 2.5 billion units in 2014, a 7.6% increase from 2013. Gartner also predicts that mobile phones will dominate overall device shipments, with 1.9 billion mobile phones shipped in 2014, and that “ultramobiles” (indicating tablets, hybrids and clamshells) will become the main driver of growth in devices from 2014 with a growth rate of 54%.
As lower selling prices attract more users, worldwide tablet shipments are expected to grow 47% to 263,450 shipments this year. At the same time, traditional PCs are on the decline; Gartner predicts that only 278 million units will be shipped in 2014, a decrease of 7% year-over-year. It seems portability and flexibility have become deciding factors when choosing devices; Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner, predicts that smaller tablets will surpass larger tablet forms because of their mobility. “Complimentary smaller tablets will take over from the larger tablet form factors, providing the added mobility that consumers desire at a lower cost and will compete with hybrids for consumer attention,” Atwal said.
Lower-cost devices, especially in emerging markets, will drive Android’s growth over time according to Gartner. By 2017, over 75% of Android’s volumes are projected to come from emerging markets. “There is no doubt that there is a volume versus value equation, with Android users also purchasing lower-cost devices compared to Apple users,” said Annette Zimmerman, principal analyst at Gartner. This is why Android continues to be the most-used operating system, Zimmerman says, with 1.9 Android devices in use in 2014 compared to 682 million iOS and Mac OS devices.
Will you be buying an Android or tablet device this year?