Research firm Gartner Inc.’s latest prognostication on sales of combined digital devices of all formats and operating systems, “Forecast: PCs, Ultramobiles, and Mobile Phones, Worldwide, 2011-2018, 1Q14 Update,” has some pretty uncomfortable reading for Apple execs, or fanboys. For it found that worldwide device shipments of all kinds running Android OS, currently around one third of digital device shipments overall, are likely to rise to around half of all shipments of all OS types by 2015. The overall numbers of all types, and of Apple devices, though, are likely to grow only incrementally.

“Google’s objective is to increase Android’s footprint, and it is still on target to sell over one billion devices during 2014,” states Gartner. As the table shows, by 2015 Gartner expects almost 1.36 billion Android devices to be shipping, out of a total of almost 2.63 billion devices of all types. iOS and Mac OS devices, meanwhile, will number almost 325,ooo.

Partly, this changing adoption pattern is due to the growth of the tablet market, forecast to grow 38.6 percent in 2014 by Gartner. “The adoption of tablets has been largely concentrated in the U.S., with the dominance of Apple,” says Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. “Market dynamics in other regions are different, as   the uptake of lower cost, smaller, non-branded tablets, becomes more apparent.” Furthermore, Gartner observes, “iOS tablet growth has slowed in North America and Apple will need to reinvigorate its replacement cycle.”

There don’t seem to be any trends in this report to counter the steady erosion of Apple’s market share. The world outside the U.S. seems increasingly to belong to Android, and it may only be a matter of time now before Google’s Lloyd is able to take a bite out of Apple’s core market too.


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