There are increasing opportunities for aspiring app developers in the Android ecosystem, new research suggests, as the wide range of brands and price points continues to win over consumers.
According to technology research firm Gartner, global sales of “smart devices” – including smartphones and tablets – will hit 1.2 billion in 2013, up from 821 million this year.
“The ubiquity of smartphones and the increasing popularity of tablets are changing the way… consumers embrace devices,” research vice president Carolina Milanesi said in a statement.
According to Milanesi, two-thirds of the mobile workforce will own a smartphone by 2016 and 40% of the workforce will be mobile, with tablets expected to be a key accelerator to mobility.
Purchases of tablets by businesses will reach 13 million units this year, Gartner estimates, but that figure will triple by 2016 to reach 53 million units.
Interestingly, Gartner estimates 56% of smartphones purchased by businesses in North America and Europe will be Android devices in 2016, up from 34% in 2012.
“The wide range of brands and price points that the Android ecosystem is offering is winning over users,” Milanesi said.
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“While Apple remains the heartbeat by which the market moves, Google has rapidly become its arch-rival.”
The findings come on the back of a report from fellow research firm IDC, which shows worldwide tablet shipments totalled 27.8 million units in the third quarter of 2012.
Android shipments, led by Samsung and Amazon, surged during the quarter at the expense of Apple, which saw its share slip from 65.5% to 50.4%.
The remaining top five tablet vendors all gained share during the quarter. Most notable was the impressive quarter turned out by Samsung, driven by its ever-growing portfolio of tablets.
Samsung shipped 1.5 million tablets worldwide in the quarter, up 115% from the second quarter and an increase of 325% from the third quarter of 2011.
“Samsung took advantage of an opportunity in the second quarter,” said Ryan Reith, program manager of IDC’s mobile device trackers.
“The company offers a wide range of tablet offerings across multiple screen sizes and colors, and that clearly resonated with more buyers this quarter.”
“Its growth to 18.4% of worldwide market share during the quarter represents the first time a competitor has attained this level of share since the original launch of the iPad.”
“Competitors are turning up the pressure on market leader Apple.”