With worldwide device shipments projected to reach 2.5 billion units in 2014, analyst firm, Gartner, expects the total number of Android users to increase by 26 per cent from 2013 and reach 1.1 billion as the operating system (OS) continues its market dominance.
According to the firm's principal analyst, Annette Zimmerman, Android holds the largest number of installed-base devices, with 1.9 billion in use in 2014, compared with 682 million iOS and Mac units. A major contributor to these figures is the abundance of lower-cost Android products.
In its Forecast: PCs, Ultramobiles, and Mobiles Phones, Worldwide, 2010 to 2017, Q4 2013 Update' report, Gartner estimates a healthy increase in iOS and Mac OS users, growing to 344.2 million in 2014, up from 266.7m the previous year.
On the hardware front, Gartner said mobile phones will dominate overall device shipments, with 1.9bn expected to be shipped this year, a five per cent increase from 2013. Ultramobiles (tablets, hybrids and clamshells), will take over as the main driver of growth in the device market from 2014, with a growth rate of 54 per cent.
"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," Gartner research director, Ranjit Atwal, said.
He also said complimentary smaller tablets will take over from the larger tablet form factors due to the added mobility and lower cost.
"Meanwhile, users continue to move away from the traditional PC (notebooks and desk-based) as it becomes more of a shared content creation tool, while the greater flexibility of tablets, hybrids and lighter notebooks address users' increasingly different demands."
Gartner's figures indicate PCs will continue their slow demise, with worldwide shipments predicted to drop to 277.9m in 2014 from 299.3m last year.