Research: Android to Ship More Than 1B Devices in 2014

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According to new research from Gartner, more than 1 billion mobile devices running on Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system will be shipped in 2014 as lower-cost devices, particularly in emerging markets, outpace high-end ones like those made by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).

Gartner predicts that Android will be the operating system of choice across all mobile devices. Google’s Android is used in devices made by Sony (NYSE:SNE), Samsung (SSNLF.PK), and many other companies. Android use is expected to grow 26 percent from 2013 to reach 1.1 billion users in 2014. Android has performed successfully in emerging markets due to its use in less expensive devices, and by 2017, Gartner expects 75 percent of Android’s sales to come from emerging markets.

Apple is expected to add 344,206 new devices running on either iOS or Mac OS in 2014. Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows, which is boosted by its dominant share in PCs and notebooks, is expected to ship 359,855 new devices during the year.

“There is no doubt that there is a volume versus value equation, with Android users also purchasing lower-cost devices compared to Apple users,” said Annette Zimmerman, principal analyst at Gartner, in the report.

Overall shipments of computing devices — which includes cell phones, tablets and PCs — will rise 7.6 percent from 2013 this year. Mobile phone sales will grow 5 percent in 2014, tablets sales will increase a whopping 54 percent, and worldwide PC shipments will continue their decline, falling to 7 percent in 2014, Gartner reports.

“Mobile phones are a must have and will continue to grow but at a slower pace, with opportunities moving away from the top-end premium devices to mid-end basic products,” said Ranjit Atwal, Gartner’s research director.

Apple’s dedication to making expensive high-end products has caused the company’s devices to consistently lose market share to Android. Apple released its rumored low-cost smartphone, the iPhone 5C, in September, but the device ended up being priced higher than many had expected and is still out of reach for many customers in emerging markets. Recent research from Kantar Worldpanel has shown that even though sales of the new iPhone line up are growing, the company’s smartphone market share is even lower than it was last year.

Meanwhile, Android will continue to gain steam in the markets where customers can’t afford Apple products.

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