It’s not all about the iPhone versus Android — that’s just a little friendly competition within the smartphone market. There’s a second market edging in on the turf of smartphones, and the culprits are the same manufacturers. The tablet market is growing fast and is reluctant to slow down.
Year-on-year, mobile device sales have decreased 3.1 percent, though smartphones have taken a larger bite out of that share at 46.9 percent of the mobile phone market in Q3. Focusing on four big operating systems — Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android, Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS, Research in Motion’s (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry, and Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows — smartphones sales in Q3 sat just below 160 million units. This value still bests that numbers for tablets on the same operating systems, which sold less than 120 million units in 2012.
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However, 2012 levels are by no means the endgame. Gartner has tablet sales projected to reach 182 million units sold in 2013, and more than double that by 2016, showing tablets as a strong contender in the future of portable devices.
Honorable mention goes to the PC, standing on the sideline with sales decreasing by more than 7 million units worldwide from Q3 2011. With 87 million units sold worldwide this quarter for PC, Android smartphones alone boast higher sales.