Gartner says there will be 1 billion Google Android smartphones and tablets by 2014, with Apple iPhone and MacOS in third place.Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg
Google's Android operating system will be used by 1 billion smartphones and tablets around the world by 2014, according to the research from Gartner.
By comparison, Gartner predicts the number of devices and PCs using Microsoft Windows-based products will be 397 million at the same point with Apple in third place with 359 million.
The forecast was made by research firm Gartner as part of its 2010-2017 forecast updates. It said that while the number of computing devices would increase to 2.4 billion units by 2013, the traditional PC market would fall by 7.6 per cent as cheaper and faster tablets became increasingly popular.
The findings echoed those of Telsyte, which told The Australian Financial Review that users were increasingly choosing to replace their computers with tablet devices like Apple's iPad and Microsoft's Surface.
"This is not a temporary trend induced by a more austere economic environment; it is a reflection of a long-term change in user behavior," Gartner said in a statement. "Worldwide tablet shipments are forecast to total 197 million units in 2013, a 69.8 percent increase from 2012.
"Users in emerging markets who are looking for a companion to their mobile phone will increasingly choose a tablet as their first computing device and not a PC."
The study also showed that the falling price of smartphones was encouraging customers using pre-paid mobile plans to buy them. The devices were previously affordable for users on long-term contracts where the telecommunications company provides the phone as part of the contract.
"Of the 1.875 billion mobile phones to be sold in 2013, 1 billion units will be smartphones, compared with 675 million units in 2012," it said.
But the news continues to be bad for BlackBerry. Gartner predicts that falling sales will mean that the number of BlackBerry devices on the market will fall by 10 per cent to 31.3 million in 2013.
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