January 8, 2014
Android Expected To Ship More Than 1 Billion Devices In 2014
Bryan P. Carpender for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
This year will be a banner year for Google, especially since the number of devices shipped out featuring its Android operating system is expected to surpass 1.1 billion – a 26 percent increase from 2013.
Google’s Android OS continues its worldwide domination, remaining the most popular OS by a wide margin, thanks in no small part to the availability of more affordable smartphones.
These lower-cost handsets are a key factor in Android devices shipping out in such great numbers. "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.
Combined shipments of devices including PC’s, tablets, hybrids (ultramobile tablet/notebook combos) and mobile phones will see an 7.6 percent increase from 2013, with projected worldwide numbers totaling 2.5 billion units.
AS THE DESKTOP GATHERS DUST
While smartphones continue to be the market leader in terms of devices, research shows that more and more users are gravitating toward tablets. As the new kids on the tech block flourish, the PC market is expected to remain stagnant in 2014. Personal computers such as desktops and traditional notebooks are starting to gather dust as users choose devices allowing them increased mobility and tools to meet their needs.
"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, a leading market research firm. "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. 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.”
Users no longer feel the need to be tethered to a computer at home or the office. As evidenced by the projected 53 percent increase in tablet shipments, people are fast becoming more comfortable using devices on the go and doing more of their computing outside of their homes and offices.
THESE ARE THE DROIDS YOU’RE LOOKING FOR
Looking at worldwide device shipments broken down by operating system, Android is clearly the OS of choice across all devices, with nearly triple the number of Apple devices sold. In 2013, nearly 880 million devices running Android OS were shipped out to users. Apple shipped nearly 270 million. One could deduce that price is definitely a factor, as evidenced by Apple’s introduction of the more affordable iPhone 5c in an attempt to appeal to more budget conscious users.
Forecasts for 2014 have iOS/Mac OS-based devices shipping 344 million units, while Android is expected to exceed 1.1 billion devices worldwide. Apple’s proprietary OS is used only on Apple devices, while Android is installed on tablets and smartphones from various manufacturers including Samsung, Sony and HTC, among others.
KEEPING THAT NUMBER ONE SPOT
Android has yet to enjoy major success beyond its core product offerings, but it hopes to broaden that reach with vendors like Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard using the Google OS on new PC’s. Its popularity is starting to spread, expanding from smartphones and tablets to other devices such as all-in-one PC’s, televisions – even cars.
Even with a wide margin separating Android from the rest of the pack, Google has plenty of challenges ahead in terms of how it will leverage its huge market share of users.
In order to maintain its market share, Google will need to figure out how to take those users who entered at a lower price point and connect with and engage them, enticing them to upgrade to other Android devices.