State of play: Android devices double, tablet sales soar, and PCs tumble

Total number of devices sold rises by 5.9 per cent from 2012 to 2013

The latest report from industry analysts Gartner has revealed a number of distinct trends in the worldwide devices market (combining sales of mobiles, tablets, and PCs). Whilst there has been an overall growth in devices sold boosted by increased tablet sales, the popularity of traditional PCs continue to fall.

The report also measures the growth of operating systems, with Android seeing the largest improvements, followed by smaller growth from iOS/MacOS and Windows, with the latter still retaining a slight edge in numbers over Apple, whilst falling behind in rates of growth.

The total number of devices sold worldwide is project to reach just under 2.35 billion units by 2013, a total rise of 5.9 per cent. Traditional PC sales (desk-based and notebooks) will fall by 10.6 per cent from 2012 with growth in the sector supplied by tablets (up 67.9 per cent), mobiles (growing 4.3 per cent) and ultramobiles (an increase of 107 per cent).

See below for a full break-down in numbers:

Worldwide Devices Shipments by Segment (Thousands of Units)

Device Type

2012

2013

2014

PC (Desk-Based and Notebook)

341,273

305,178

289,239

Ultramobile

9,787

20,301

39,824

Tablet

120,203

201,825

276,178

Mobile Phone

1,746,177

1,821,193

1901,188

Total

2,217,440

2,348,497

2,506,429

Source: Gartner (June 2013)

The increasing demand for ultramobiles (which Gartner defines as “thin and light clamshell designs” including slates, hybrids, Chromebooks and the MacBook Air) is relatively small in volume but will help vendors increase average selling prices and margins.

The tablet market is also expected to diversify, with sales of premium products taking a dip as consumers either trade down to basic tablets (such as the iPad Mini) or up, purchasing high-priced ultramobiles instead.

In terms of operating systems, Android devices are expected to double from 505,509 sold in 2012 to 1,061,270 in 2014. Over the same time period Windows is expected to see a slight increase from 346,464 to 378,142 whilst Apple achieves some more significant growth, adding more than 100 million devices to a project total of 254,849 in 2014.

“Although the numbers seem to paint a clear picture of who the winner will be when it comes to operating systems (OS) in the device market (see Table 2), the reality is that today ecosystem owners are challenged in having the same relevance in all segments,” said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner.

 “Apple is currently the more homogeneous presence across all device segments, while 90 per cent of Android sales are currently in the mobile phone market and 85 per cent of Microsoft sales are in the PC market.”

See below for a full break-down of operating system sales:

Worldwide Devices Shipments by Operating System (Thousands of Units)

Operating System

2012

2013

2014

Android

505,509

866,781

1,061,270

Windows

346,464

339,545

378,142

iOS/MacOS

212,878

296,356

354,849

RIM

34,584

25,224

22,291

Others

1,118,004

820,592

689,877

Total

2,217,440

2,348,497

2,506,429

Source: Gartner (June 2013)

 

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