As the mobile devices sector continues to grow at an incredible rate, Gartner has released a report stating that Android will finally cross the billion devices mark by shipping an estimated 1.1 billion devices in 2014. Even though iOS will grow at a higher percentage than its competitors this year, Android will continue to be the most popular OS, thanks to emerging markets and low-cost devices.
The gap between Android and iOS will widen this year, although both companies are trying to find new ways to increase sales, now that the smartphone and tablet markets are saturated. Based upon announcements from CES, Apple and Google are looking towards automobiles to expand the reach of their respective operating systems, although smartphones and tablets will still continue to receive most of their attention.
Many of the companies in the smartphone industry can thank emerging markets for their success in recent years and the growth of Android devices outside the US has given Google the potential to nearly block out Apple from some of these markets.
There is no doubt that there is a volume-versus-value equation, with Android users purchasing lower-cost devices compared to Apple users,” said Gartner analyst Annette Zimmerman. Gartner is not the only analyst firm to come to the conclusion that with time, much of the mobile market growth will be in mid and low-end phones instead of premium devices, a realization that should concern Apple.
A Dangerous Time For Microsoft
Apple may not have the same growth potential that Google has with Android but both companies seem to be in a better position that Microsoft. With sales of traditional laptops and desktops steadily declining, Windows is no longer in control of the operating system market, despite Microsoft's push into the tablet and smartphone markets.
“Users continue to move away from the traditional PC as it becomes more of a shared-content creation tool, while the greater flexibility of tablets, hybrids and lighter notebooks address users’ increasingly different usage demands,” says Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal.
Even Intel has revealed that it will be changing direction in a way that may also threaten Microsoft, by releasing a line of processors designed to work with both Android and Windows, which is quite different than Intel's previous emphasis on Windows.
Just one day into CES 2014 and Google is already showing off its advancements in new markets. Until now, Android has primarily been used on smartphones and tablets and as a result, it has also dominated those sectors. Moving forward however, Android and Chrome OS are expected to appear on PCs, automobiles, and TVs.
While it may seem as though Microsoft has little chance of keeping up with the likes of Goole, but thanks to its acquisition of Nokia, there have been signs that Windows OS may actually be making a slight comeback in the form of phones and tablets, in place of its traditional foothold in the PC market.