The market is changing. Apple’s dominance seems to have been broken, at least if you look at computer sales in general, from PCs and tablets to ultra mobiles. Android is the future, according to research conducted by market researcher Gartner. Sales of Android devices will double in 2014, as compared to 2012, whereas Apple’s growth is expected to be just 67 percent. Of the big three, Microsoft will grow the least, at 5.3% by 2014. And this year it is expected to sell fewer of its Windows 8 devices than last year, reflecting the slow uptake of its latest operating system.
Yet Gartner does see a future for Windows 8 devices: as ultra mobiles, which it believes are the next must-have device. Chromebooks and hybrid devices, which combine Android and Windows 8, are part of this. Gartner believes Windows 8.1, the latest Windows 8 release, will enable the operating system finally to break through in the last quarter of this year.
Burgeoning tablet market
The forecast for the different types of devices is as follows: In 2014, the number of ultra mobiles sold is expected to increase threefold on 2012 sales, though at almost 40,000 devices that growth is comparatively modest. Tablets sales will increase by almost 130% to 276,000 devices, sustaining their high level of growth. Sales of desktop PCs have passed their peak, and will decline this year and next year. With the cellphone market almost at saturation, sales are fast approaching their peak. Gartner forecasts meager growth in this market of 4.4% compared to 2013.
The mobile app market is driven by private consumers, and Gartner expects this market to grow by 65% this year, and by as much as 72% next year.