Android rockets and iOS gains, while Windows dips

Android rockets and iOS gains, while Windows dips

Summary: Android device shipments leap, but there's yet more bad news for PC makers as the market continues to slide, despite their experiments with new form factors.


Android and iOS device shipments are predicted to grow this year, while the number of Windows devices shipped is expected to fall slightly.

According to calculations from analyst Gartner, 866 million Android devices will ship this year (up from 505 million last year. Around 296 million iOS and Mac OS devices will ship (up from 212 million last year) while 339 million Windows devices will ship (a slight dip from 346 million last year). And next year Android is likely to see a billion devices shipped — compared to 378 million Windows devices and 354 million iOS devices.

But the raw numbers don't tell the whole story. "Although the numbers seem to paint a clear picture of who the winner will be when it comes to operating systems in the device market," said Gartner research VP Carolina Milanesi, the reality is the relevance of each operating system varies according to the type of device.

Windows RT: Can Microsoft snatch victory from the jaws of total failure?

Windows RT: Can Microsoft snatch victory from the jaws of total failure?

Windows RT: Can Microsoft snatch victory from the jaws of total failure?

"Apple is currently the more homogeneous presence across all device segments, while 90 percent of Android sales are currently in the mobile phone market and 85 percent of Microsoft sales are in the PC market," she said in a statement.

Still, Gartner's numbers contain yet more bad news for PC vendors, as it seems their experiments with new form factors and operating systems aren't going to stop the market for their hardware shrinking.

Shipments of traditional PCs — desktops and notebooks — are forecast to hit 305 million units in 2013, a 10.6 per cent decline from 2012. Even when ultramobiles are added to the pile (by which Gartner means devices such as Chromebooks, thin-and-light clamshell designs, and hybrid devices running Windows 8) PC shipments will still decline 7.3 percent in 2013, as consumers choose tablets.

Tablet shipments are expected to grow 67.9 percent, with shipments reaching 202 million units, while the mobile phone market will grow 4.3 percent, hitting a volume of more than 1.8 billion units.

Gartner said the sharp decline in PC sales recorded in the first quarter was the result of a changes in customer demand, but also an adjustment in the channel to make room for new products hitting the market in the second half of 2013.

Gartner is predicting that 20 million ultramobile PCs will ship this year — double last year. And while that number will double again to 40 million next year, that still won't be enough to offset the decline in shipments of more traditional form factors, which it calculates will drop to 289 million in next year — down from 341 million last year.

Even when designs based on Intel's Bay Trail and Haswell processors hit the market in the latter part of this year, they will only "marginally help" overall sales volumes at least initially, but may give vendor margins a boost, Gartner said.

But the tablet market is also facing some challenges, according to the analyst house, with many consumers trading down from premium tablets to more basic models.

The market share of basic tablets is expected to increase faster than anticipated, as sales of the iPad Mini already represented 60 per cent of overall iOS sales in the first quarter of 2013.

"The increased availability of lower priced basic tablets, plus the value add shifting to software rather than hardware will result in the lifetimes of premium tablets extending as they remain active in the household for longer. We will also see consumer preferences split between basic tablets and ultramobile devices," Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal said in a statement.

The bring your own device trend continues, with Gartner forecasting that 72 per cent of personal computing devices will be bought into the workplace by 2017, up from 65 per cent in 2013. "This signifies the growing importance of designing for the consumer inside the enterprise," the analyst house noted.

Topics: Mobile OS, Smartphones, Tablets, PCs

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  • The battle is between Google & Microsoft...

    The interesting numbers in there (to me) are that 90% of Androids sales are phones, while 85% of Windows are PCs. The big question is: Who can expand their market share in other areas? I mean, if in five years, 90% of Androids sales are still in phones, that doesn't really affect Microsoft's stronghold on PCs. Or, suppose that Microsoft's "Windows 8 on everything" strategy starts to work, and Microsoft starts to gain traction in tablets & phones, while maintaining its dominance on the PC, well, obviously, that would be great for Microsoft.

    Personally, I think Apple is kind of out of the running. Meaning, Apple failed to takedown Microsoft on the PC, and has failed to stop the Android juggernaut in mobile... with Android pulling away. Apple will always be a solid option for consumers, but it will not dominate.

    The coming battle is between Google and Microsoft. With Google trying to spread Android/Chrome OS to devices beyond phones, and Microsoft trying to expand Windows to phones & tablets while holding its near-monopoly on the desktop. When you look at it that way, Microsoft's Windows 8 strategy starts to make sense, especially if they start installing real Windows/RT onto phones. Suddenly, Microsoft has one OS for everything, while Android does not. Anyway, I guess we'll know in about five years which strategy paid off.
    • Simply shortsighted

      The PC market is losing about 10% a quarter and the smartphone market is gaining much quicker. Google doesn't need the PC market (it is shrinking quickly anyway), but Microsoft desperately needs the Tablet/Smartphone market. If in 2 years Android still have 90% of mobile (tablets and Smartphone) and Microsoft still has 85% of PC then Google will have the "near-monopoly" Microsoft has now.
      • PC Market is doing fine

        The problem with the PC Market right isn't a demand issue due to tablets or phones. What most people seem to over look is the fact that this isn't the 90's where we went from DoS/Windows 3.1 to Windows 98 in one decade. We were replacing our computers every couple of years back then. Now a lot of people still have computers in there homes, that they still use, that shipped with Windows XP and still can do everything they need it to do. The hardware in computers has vastly out paced the requirements for the software they run, outside of gaming/rendering. Desktop/Laptop computers today are more like your Microwave or TV, they don't get replaced until they break.
        Brandon Evans
        • Right on

          In my home we have two smartphones, two tablets and one pc. In 1997 when we bought the pc there were 0 smartphones and 0 tablets. The smartphones and tablets are new toys which in no way eliminate the need for the pc. The pc is 7 years old and still working fine, when it dies I will replace it. The PC market is saturated, the equipment is more reliable and therefore doesn't need to be replaced so often.
          • @ alex_darkness, alderran

            Look at it two other ways!

            95% of Android appstore apps are for smartphones. And about 5% are for tablets. And that is the state after 4 years on the market with Android going into version 2.5 or 6 and beyond.

            And all 100% of Windows appstore apps are for tablets and touch PCs with addition rate of 2K or 3K per week. And while Windows Phone store apps are specifically for smartphones, the addition rate has indeed declined in recent months.

            In other words, Microsoft is looking at increasing momentum in the tablet and ultramobile PC market. It does appear that the iPad will get toppled soon (a year or two more).

            While Microsoft will have to live with a smartphone market that is decided by Apple and Samsung in profitshare and Android OS in marketshare. That is fine for their strategy since the smartphone market has peaked in fiscal year 2013. This market peak is the real reason for the downward spikes in Apple and Samsung stock values.

            Growth in smartphone market from 2014 and beyond will come from replacement rates for the most part and a few new feature phone conversions.

            Again in other words, longer hold cycles for PCs implies Microsoft can afford to churn out upgrade software from time to time while keeping share steady. While 2 year replacement cycles for tablets and especially smartphones implies that Microsoft is looking at increasing (even though low numbers) growth rates in phone OS share.

            It looks as if the disadvantage of not having an OS ready for ARM CPUs is no longer a constraint for Microsoft as it was in 2009. Their Phone OS will increase in marketshare to reach the 100 million number soon (either through Nokia or through self-made phones or through multiple other OEMs). That number is enough for them to start to target the enterprise. The wildcard for the Microsoft phone strategy though is Samsung. Their loyalties are still unknown (looks mostly to themselves and not even to Google).

            Whereas the change in PC models from Acer, Asus and HP to boot Android instead of Windows will favor Google initially in the PC market but there are no desktop Android apps yet. On top of it, Lenovo is the marketshare leader in PCs and it is still with Microsoft. And Dell looks firmly to stagnate or grow against HP. So the decline of HP benefits Windows PCs.

            Lastly, the smartphone OS market has more competition than the PC OS market. Alternatives include Firefox OS, Tizen OS and even Blackberry OS that can try to prove themselves in a competitive way as time passes. So the article is not exactly right in saying that there exist only 3 OS platforms. Not counting Firefox OS in 2017 since they are not released yet in 2013 is not exactly a good prediction.
          • A big part of smartphones, tablets and PCs is online financial transactions

            I just don't trust Windows. It's too easy for it to become infected without the users' knowledge.

            If you keep your Android and Linux software restricted to trusted sources there are no problems. Trojans get installed easily and equally to any OS if the user authenticates the install, especially bad is rooting or jail breaking your device. Who can look at a binary file and figure out if there is a trojan in there?
          • Your argument is valid for windows not android

            If you keep your windows software restricted to trusted markets you're fine. No so for android where googles own store hosts boatloads of malware.
            Johnny Vegas
          • Is it patch Tuesday yet?

            MS needs to release more patches for their crappy virus laden, malware infected OSes.
          • JV Still Clueless

            The problem is that he doesn't understand want Malware IS.

            Under Android, you can review the access rights that the software will have available. If you see something that looks like something you don't want, then, just refuse it!

            Android relies on the user. You have responsibility. That is something that Johnny can't deal with. Too bad.

            If you don't trust Google (they do remove anything that they find out is malware, but, that's something that happens AFTER some damage has been done). Then there are alternative stores. Try out the Amazon store for instance. Stock Android will allow that just fine. There are others.

            There are also third party apps from AV manufacturers that will check for you and alert you of anything suspicious.

            But, in the end, the best source of your security is you!

            That means that some people, like Jonny, will never be secure.
          • @YetAnotherBob

            Not Just in Android... You can review what are the rights an app need in Windows store as well as iOS store. So stop saying that as a special thing with Android.

            Besides, if you do not trust Google and download from other stores(other than Amazon's), do you really think you can see what are the access rights you are giving to the app?

            Funny thing is, All Windows users were exactly saying that the best source of your security is you in terms of Desktop/laptops and all others were saying what the OS is doing. Now, all Android users are saying the same and all others are saying exactly what was told about OS.
          • Too much sense

            Stop it!! You make way to much sense. you would make a terrible analyst. /S
          • Windows RT on a phone could be a game-changer...

            If the rumors are true, and Microsoft plans to start loading Windows RT onto their phones sometime in the near future (next year), then that could be a game-changer for Windows Phone.
          • You're confused about Android

            Unlike Windows 8/RT vs. Phone or even iOS/iPhone vs. iOS/iPad, Android doesn't differentiate between phones and tablets. While true, some older applications won't look like anything but big fat phone apps on a tablet, most applications adjust to the device they're on. Android's layout manager was designed for this, and it works well. You open a modern app (most apps ARE modern ones, given just the growth of the market, even if existing apps weren't update 20x a week... which they pretty much are) on a phone, it's doing phone things. Open it on a tablet, it's doing tablet things.

            I have 200+ apps on my tablet... I don't recall the last time I saw one that wasn't an acceptable tablet application.
          • There s huge flaw in your argument

            That is your equating the addition of apps in the MS store to being a significant factor. They can add as many apps as they want, but the market share isnt there for products very few people arent buying. Windows Phones share is irrelevant and not getting relevant anytime soon. Surface Pro users find no apps of value in the app store. Surface RT users really dont exist, the remaining stock of 1st gen RTs is being blown out bottom dollar to schools. While MS is deciding on configuration of the 2nd gen Surfaces, their is mediocre interest at best by OEMS in the 2nd gen RT, given the retarded pricing of the 1st gen. As for building other devices using W8/W8.1 the OEM bandwagon is shrinking.
          • 95% Android Apps for Smartphones Only???

            I find that the same apps I use on the phone work fine on the 7" tablet. Minus the phone, of course. The tablet is a $80.00 no-name, and it only does WiFi, but the apps are just fine with it. I use the e-book reader and some of the games mostly.

            Your problem is that Android is now really a tablet OS that also does phones.

            What Android lacks is a good office app. I have heard that Libre Office will have an Android port soon. Microsoft will also probably want to move in the space too. It's simply too big to ignore.

            Of course, you could always use Google Docs, or MS Office 365.

            The keyboard is a killer for that sort of application though. I find that if I want to do any real typing, that anything smaller than a 10" is just too small. My wife, though is experimenting with Google's voice technology right now. In a couple of years, the need for a keyboard might just disappear. That would really put a nail in the PC coffin.
          • Right On

            I have two smartphones, 3 computers, 0 tablets. I don't plan to replace a computer until they break to the point I can't repair them myself. I think MS has shot itself in the foot trying to make one OS work on PCs and tablets, and smartphones. The single app running on a PC just isn't what people do in the real world. It's OK on a Smartphone, questionable on a tablet, and stupid on a PC. Unless MS abandons this approach, I won't be buying another MS driven computer. I will probably buy one of the cheap tablets mainly as a book reader, and for quick internet access.
          • Cheap Tablets

            Entry price for a cheap tablet is now below $100.00.

            Search online for that. you won't find them in stores. The retail stores still are trying to move the more expensive ones. I found a cheap tablet to be quite good enough.

            I'd recommend "Cool Reader" for the epub reader.
        • Still have my Packard Bell....

          .....PC from the early 90's and it still works with Windows 3.1
          They just don't make 'em like that anymore. :-)
          • Ahhh... 16 bit OS computing. Brings me back.

          • How do you keep that piece of crap running?!

            Now, don't take this personally, but PackardBell PCs were made with used (and defective) parts, and if the motherboard went out, you were SOL. Now, maybe you've done something to make it last that long, and for that I commend you, but MINE didn't last THAT long. There's a reason they made the top of PC Magazine's "Worst PC of All Time".
            Richard Estes