More than 1.1 billion Android devices will be shipped this year, according to a new prediction by research firm Gartner.
That would be a 26 percent increase from 2013, and solidify Google‘s Android as today’s dominant operating system, putting it in 45 percent of all new devices.
Microsoft’s Windows, for both mobile and PC, is predicted to place a distant second, with nearly 360 million shipments. Gartner said Apple‘s iOS and Mac OS will be close on its heels, with 344 million units, a 29 percent year-over-year increase.
Most of Android’s growth is seen in emerging markets, where affordability is a key factor. “There is no doubt that there is a volume versus value equation, with Android users also purchasing lower-cost devices compared to Apple users,” Gartner principal analyst Annette Zimmerman said in a statement.
Overall shipments of PCs, mobile phones and tablets are expected to rise 7.6 percent in 2014. Gartner said mobile phones will continue to be the most popular devices, with 1.9 billion units, up 5 percent from 2013. “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,” Gartner research director Ranjit Atwa said in a statement
But so-called “ultramobiles” — tablets, hybrids and clamshells — will provide the biggest growth, up 54 percent in 2014, to more than 300 million units. “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,” Atwa said.
PC sales are expected to slip further, from about 300 million shipments in 2013 to 278 million in 2014.
At top: A person costumed as the Android operating system mascot stands at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., Thursday, April 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)