Android to overtake Windows in 2016, says Gartner

Android to overtake Windows in 2016, says Gartner

Summary: Gartner says the world's most popular desktop operating system will be relegated to second place as the world's most popular mobile operating system takes over. But no rush: 2016 is when it's mean to happen.


By the end of 2016, there will be 2.3 billion computers, tablets and smartphones running Android, and only 2.28 billion Windows-powered devices, says research firm Gartner.

(Now, it's worth mentioning that Gartner's analysis doesn't always match up with... reality. Its predictive figures are relatively spot on and in line with other research firms, however.)

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But there's no rush. As PC shipments decline in the run up to the next-generation Windows 8 operating system, it comes as no surprise as the rise of the post-PC device segment. Tablets to smartphones versus the traditional PC and notebook. 

Gartner says that by the end of this year there will be 1.5 billion Windows devices and 608 million devices using Android. Let's compare this to the figures we already know about.

Windows' market share currently stands at 44 percent as of September, according to Net Applications

In June, Microsoft said it had sold more than 600 million copies of Windows 7. Bump this by a month and the numbers will be about the same, if not slightly higher, because in July both Windows 7 and Windows XP were level pegging at 42 percent, according to the usage analytics tool. Ergo, 600 million copies of Windows 7 meant about the same number of copies for Windows XP. Double the number, and we're looking at 1.2 billion copies of Windows 7 and XP alone, not including Windows Server or Windows Vista, or other versions.

Android's market share currently stands at 17.4 percent, again according to Net Applications, but this only includes Android 2.3 and Android 4.0, the two most popular versions of Android currently on supported phones.

Breaking down the figures and using similar logic, Android currently stands at more than 500 million from September, according to Google, with more than 1.3 million new activations per day. Breaking out the calculator and seventh grade math, that's about 554.6 million activations of Android devices currently on the market.

By 2016, it's likely that the post-PC market will include devices of all ranges -- smartphones will be indistinguishable from tablets and tablets will be commonplace, while a PC is a relic of the early-21st century. But that's another discussion altogether and one for another time -- if it hadn't already been done to death.

And even then, by 2016 we may only be figments of the ether's imagination if those crafty Mayan's get their way

Topics: Android, Big Data, Smartphones, Tablets, Windows

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  • More brain dead nonsense from Gartner

    Who pays for the buckets of puke they consistently churn out?
    • I know. My prediction will be

      that smartphones surpass the number of televisions in 2016
      William Farrel
    • Gartner-Wrong

      Gartner has little credibility left. How many times can they be wrong?
      • They may be right.

        But they may be wrong. Perhaps one of the problems with their analysis is the retirement rate of Android devices vs. PC. Most people don't throw away their PC's after 2 years, but do throw away their Android how do you compare? PC have a 6-10 year shelf life in most cases, a Phone, maybe 2. And apple has shown that Tablet lifespan is now at 6 months...jk.
        • Flawed Numbers, Flawed Response!

          The Reality is Android Devices Don't Die, they just change their use. For instance I have 1 Windows 8 computer and I spend much of my time booted into Linux on it for my own Security and Peace of Mind! ........because Open Source not being Profit driven isn't tied to RIAA, MPAA and the like for content consumption and keeping an eye on what we do with our own equipment we supposedly OWN!

          At least in Windows XP, I didn't have to worry about leaky firewalls owned by Microsoft, that were always letting both Microsoft and their Proprietary Partners in to steal my info and data. I could use some hacker made Firewall Controls and keep em all out!

          Now with Windows 8 we have a Proprietary Firewall Holier than the Pope, guarding our Internet door to the Cyberworld. Where DRM (Digital Rectal Manipulation) PWNS us all on a daily basis. When on Linux Based OS's and Android is one of them, we have NSA's own developed Security Enhanced Linux kernel even in Android now!

          It wasn't that long ago that the Head of the FBI said, "Don't do your banking or make purchases online from a Windows based computer. Instead use a Live Linux Distro running from in a VM, preferably from a DVD or USB drive to surf the web, do online banking and make your purchases. Use a distro like Ubuntu with NSA's SE Linux and you are inherently safer than even using Apple's Mac OS X too..... even not in a Live Distro!

          Now I also have 7 Android run devices and only one of those is being counted by Gartner. But I use two old Android phones for TV remotes and media servers. My Samsung TV runs Android w/ Google TV. I also have Three Android Tablets, still used everyday (actually one is HP Touchpad w/ Linux based WebOS and Android JB). My present active Smartphone is Samsung Galaxy S3 w/ Android, while my wife uses a iPhone 4. So only two real proprietary run devices in the whole house! :D .....and that Apple iPhone will soon fly south to a recycling bin, when she buys a Samsung Galaxy S4!

          If....... Gartner was really paying attention, most of the active Android Smartphones have been only activated in the last two years and Google's Activation rate exceeds 1.7 Million devices a day Globally and those are just the numbers for Google Devices with Certified Google Services. If you throw in the Chinese and Indian markets, God only knows how many Android devices are actually being activated daily. Google earlier this year said they'd break 1 Billion Activations by August/September and that's 250 million more than what they said were active in March. So that proves out their own Activation rates and the fact that most active Android devices today are new or near new!

          If you and Gardner had brains...... and could count more than the fingers on one hand, you all might realize that Linux actually owns the Computing World we live in today! ......and that's because it has Military Grade Level 6 Non-Proprietary NSA Security Built In!!! ......which is a whole lot more than we can say for both Microsoft and Apple!!! ;-P

          BTW..... Samsung alone sold 220 Million Android devices last year alone and they are slated to sell over 300 Million Android based Smartphones this year. If you counted Wifi Only Android devices too, Google Android is more than Doubling that growth rate. So in effect just Samsung alone is responsible for around a Million Official Android Activations a Day right now!
  • Android to overtake Windows in 2016, says Gartner

    Seriously doubt this will happen. The fatal flaw of Gartner is they think Microsoft won't try to continuously improve their products. Microsoft won't allow anyone to take their market share and people don't want to run android because of the malware problems.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • MS on tablets & smartphones

      They should not forget that MS is going to tablets and smartphones. Ok, they're already on smartphones but everybody agrees that Windows Phone 7 was a beta-testing, Windows Phone 8 will hit much bigger and if they count everything with the "Windows" moniker they have to count Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 which in the coming weeks might completely change the game even though they're not Windows as we know it.
      • remember when ?

        Didn't Windows have a commercial that said its users weren't beta testers, that every other smartphone owner was the beta tester preparing them for WP7? or was that something else. If what i am remembering is true, that makes your statement ironically hilarious !!! lol
    • Not so sure ...

      There may well be more devices running what we currently think of as Android than devices running Windows at some point.

      I can imagine Android and Linux merging with Linux and escaping Google's closed dev process (Andrux or Lindroid, perhaps?). At which point, what we currently think of as Android and Linux will end up in routers, switches, alarm clocks, fridges, etc. - basically, most limited function devices ... much like it is today.

      This shouldn't be a surprise.

      HOWEVER, I very much doubt we'll see Andrux/Lindroid take over the desktop, especially in the enterprise: It's just too wild, wild west for most end-users & consumers to enjoy a safe experience.
      • we aren't far off from what you suggest

        although it's not an andux/lindroid comparison that you mention, but linux and android already power things such as cameras, clocks, and many other smaller computer electronics. and as google's chrome-os matures, i wouldnt be surprised in 2-3 years if that is as big a splash in the pc market as mac os (and by pc i mean labtops because desktop pcs will generally be used for business and heavy users, not the everyday john public).

        That being said, i disagree with the premise of this article. You can't compare all devices running android (phones, tablets, chromebooks) with all devices running windows (pcs, netbooks, phones, tablets). Although it can be argued that both operating systems run on similar hardware across the spectrum, android clearly has the advantage in phones and there are more phones than pcs per capita (if that makes sense).
      • happened already

        Androidin IS a Linux distribution. Linux operating system is used and Android development is open, everyone is free to join Open Handset Alliance (OHA) to get source and rights to vote and plan next Android release.

        Linux is already more used operating system than Microsoft NT or CE operating sysems everywhere else than on laptop/workstation setups.

        It is just funny how Linux has managed to conquer whole world under all these big analytic firms and Microsoft/Apple fans noses. Now only the visible and followed market sector is left.
      • Android is Linux distribution

        Linux is a operating system in the Android, what means Android is just one Linux distribution among hundreds, just focused to mobile devices instead desktop and servers.
      • Android is Linux and it's Open Source!

        That's exactly why the US DoD and NSA chose Android to write Security Enhanced Linux Kernel for it. That's why the Chinese government and device makers are also using Android Linux. It's all Open Source!!!
    • I have to agree with Loverock Davidson-

      It seems as if the prediction assumes that MS will not try to improve what they have, or develop new products.

      On a side note, I don't really think that tablets and smart phones will get rid of the PC. Sure they may outnumber them, and that is to be expected. For example, everyone in a house may own a smart phone, maybe there is one PC in the house, and of course one or more tablets.

      When I say PC I mean desktop or laptop.

      With the new MS stuff coming out no one can say for certain how it will go. MS may flop or it might take off.
    • It doesn't seem to matter how much they try

      They still keep coming up short.
  • ... so?

    I'm trying to figure out what the purpose of this article is.
  • You're amazing, Loverock Davidson.

    They will stick with malware free Windows you think ?

    You're a blinkered, myopic, dinosaur, my friend.
    • Amazing, Loverock Davidson- has

      a friend?
  • Meaningless

    There are more phones than desktop/laptop PCs. People also have more spoons than forks. Fact. It's a pointless comparison.

    A phone is NOT comparable to a PC.
    Tim Acheson
    • it is

      Right now I'm answering in my android phone