IDC: Android Devices to Outpace Windows Devices by 2016


Once upon a time, it was a shocker to think that Android could completely overtake iOS by 2015 like some analysts predicted. Not so crazy now, is it? In fact, it’s all happening at a more rapid pace than they imagined. Imagine my surprise when IDC reported that Android devices were on pace to overtake Windows devices by 2016. Notice what I wrote following the names of both operating systems: “devices.”

Yes, they believe that Windows PCs, tablets, phones and more will all succumb to defeat at the hands of Android devices of the same variety. Windows devices on x86-based CPUs currently have a leading 35.9% share, and IDC predicts it’ll drop to 25.1% by 2016. Meanwhile, Android will go from 29.4% to 31.1%, effectively taking over as the leading platform. Even now, Android holds a pretty significant piece of the pie.

Just as with smartphones, this prediction could easily change over the coming years, or even over the coming months. Android still hasn’t broken any significant ground on the tablet side of things. If we can assume that it’ll have even half the success Android phones have had since launch, we could see this happening much sooner.

It’s not wise to assume anything, though, so we’ll just call it “wishful thinking” for now. Oh, and iOS ill grow from 14.6% to a measly 17.3%. IDC predicts that the increasingly low prices of tablets and an expanding tablet application ecosystem will fuel growth. Read the rest of the report at their site.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Not very surprising, but still interesting

  2. The most used system will always be the one mostly affected by malware. This could be more of a concern than a reason to celebrate.

    1. I agree.  I don’t see it happening though.  One thing I don’t want is millions of android laptops and whatnot flooding the market.  Android is a nice mobile system but they are far more than a stones throw from being anything more than that.

  3. No, this is bad. Very bad. I love android but it is presently a messy disaster for developers. I don’t mind it taking over Apple or all three having a nearly equal share ..

  4. Android needs to be on the bottom of the list until they make everything more uniform for developers.

    1. How exactly is it not uniform?

      1. Its not one phone and one tablet across the entire space.  AKA dude knows not what he is talking about or how APIs work.

        1. Actually it is ever since Ice Cream Sandwhich. AKA Dude who has no idea what he’s talking about.


  5. It would be wild if a mobile OS is what jump starts Linux on the desktop.  Every year its ” The Year of Linux on Desktops since what, the year 2000?

    Is Google even thinking about a desktop OS? Or is it still the desktop within a browser for them like Chrome books?

    1. Ubuntu on android ?

      1. an OS over another OS is too much windows 3.11 where you needed DOS i order to have windows run. Need just one OS to keep it clean.

        1. true but its still too early for android to be developed into an independent laptop/desktop OS although really close. Now if only Google can stop trying to push  Chrome OS into mainstream and just start from scratch on a new path, cause chromebooks are completely useless without an internet connection not to mention very unappealing to the common consumer. 

    2. I read an article talking about how eventually ChromeOS and Android would be merged in to a single product. And it would be available on traditional computers. We will have to see.

    3. Chrome OS seems to be what they want for cloud computing, but there is x86 Android.

  6. I have two laptops that are just crying for Android. I won’t give up on Windows though for my work PC’s and laptops.

    1. I believe they already want to make Android 5.0 more suited for laptops, too, but we’ll know for sure when it arrives.

      Also. “Android devices surpassing Windows devices” will happen a lot faster than 2016. Was it 2 years the time it took for Windows 7, the most expected OS over the past decade, to reach 400 million licenses?

      Well, at 850,000 per day (not counting any increases), Android should already create around 300 million new devices this year, so that’s already faster than Windows.

      Surpassing the Windows userbase might take a while, though. They probably need over 1 billion Android devices in total to do that.

      1. Pretty sure the 850,000 Android devices each day is slightly off.  Maybe 600,00 max. Lets try this. 365*600,000 = 219,000,000.  It would take so little time for Android to just dominate. 

  7. Dude, stop repeating that Android hasn’t broken significant ground in the tablet market: Android had almost 40 percent of the tablet market at the end of last year.

    That’s significant ground.

    1. I meant overall, not just one segment of its existence. It’s still a very small market overall. It’s gaining steam, yes, but still not there.

  8. I’d be happy if Apple just disappeared.

  9. So all the “smoked by Windows Phone”, and online analysts propping up Windows Phone, and MS suing Android manufacturers left and right still can’t stop Android’s march. Can I say I’m not surprised? I called this long ago when Windows Phone debuted and when Android first started gaining seam…Hmm maybe I should be an analyst, I wonder if it pays good…

  10. But I’m still not going to be using Android for my desktop or laptop OS, it’d make sense for there to be more of an OS that’s on mobile devices because it’s more likely for 10 year old kids to have a cell phone than a laptop.

  11. I believe that a non-iOS platform will dominate the market in the future.

    My belief starts with the single-button apple-designed mouse. 

    I have a friend who is an Apple industrial design engineer. We used to spend hours debating the merits of Apple/Mac stuff. He argues for the simplicity, minimalism, elegance of a single-button mouse design. There is no mistake since there is only one way to click, he argues. I could not refute his argument initially. I think about it and admit that he has a point. As time gone by, I realize he was right for the first wave of computing users, but for the second wave of users, his point is not valid anymore. 

    My simplistic definition of “fist wave” users are those who are first exposed to the technology. The “second wave” are the first wave of users who has been exposed to the technology and demand more, and thus more savy.

    For the “second wave” users, single-button mouse will not suffice anymore. Simply adding a second button to a mouse, you increase the funtionality of a mouse greatly, without making it more complicated.

    If you keep advocating for a single-mouse button, you are holding back the advanced users, instead of liberating them.

    When I am first exposed to the iPad, I am surprised and at the same time not surprise with the single-button interface on the iPad. Here it goes again, I thought.  Apple imposes the single-button mouse philosophy on the iPad user interface.

    Sometimes I am frustrated with the single-button interface of iPad. In any situation, just click it and see what happen. WTF!

    Let’s go off the topic a little bit. My family which is my wife and my 2 young daughters (6 & 8 yrs) know nothing but Android stuff (smart phone, tablets). They also use Windows and Ubuntu laptops. So they are Apple-free. When my brother gave them an ipod touch, they have problem using it. Other than some basic touch-gesture, they don’t know what else to do. When my in-laws stay with us, we bought for them an iPad 2. Of course, being an elder couple, they have no idea how to use it. We have to set it up and show them how and sometimes we have to google for the answer. Through these experience, I begin to question the so-called user-friendliness, the intuitive interface of iOS device. 

    I came to a conclusion that there is no such thing. It’s just a matter of prior-experience, familiarity. From that point on, I no longer care for the praise of iOS or any mobile OS claim of intuitive design. Just use what you like and you will get use to it.

    Back to the topic at hand. With the single-button design of iPad, I believe that Apple design philosophy is to make it simple, idiot-proof. I think this strategy will work with the first wave of users. In fact, it’s a great success. However as the first wave of users graduate from touch-UI mobile device, they will yearn for a more sophisticated user-interface. As I am playing with iPad 2 and Android ICS tablet, I cannot help to realize that iOS 5 is so unsophisticated. Yes, iPad2 is very sleek in term of UI response but other than that, the UI is so stale. The simplicity of iOS is its undoing. Apple has to preserve the backward compatibility of iOS. They dare not to break iOS UI. On the other hand, Android just keep breaking the old mold, bringout the new thing and in the processing creating the notorious “fragmentation”.

    I have not played with WebOS and Windows Phone 8 which earns a lot of praise, but to me ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich) is a tremendous improvement compard to previous versions and iOS. 

    My conclusion is as long as iOS trying to preserve backward compatibility and trying to treat users as simpleton idiots, iOS will not dominate the market in the long term. Simply because users evolve.

    1.  Funny you mention that. After years with Win Mo and Android….when I first tried an iPhone I was lost with that one My kids mother has an iPhone now and she is complaining about the same thing.

      I picked up Android alot faster than the iPhone. Using Win Mo for a few years helped.

      I think ppl that say the one button approach is easier, better are just used to using it.

      And looking for the Bluetooth settings on her iPhone…I had to go online to find it. I was used to it being in wireless and network Settings on Android. The iPhone has it in General…

      I agree there are a few myths about the iPhone being so simple, intuitive, user friendly.

    2.  Remember: “AOL so easy to use, no wonder it’s number one!”

  12. Having an Apple product and an Android product I notice the following. The android graphically displays more (obvious) however my iPad 2 now does just about everything my PC desktop does except run flash and 1 other needed program. I can print, make and show ppts, docs, create, fill, sign, edit, scan and print pdfs, run windows 7 and then use PowerPoint, excel, word 2010 and print. My android phone is just to small for this and lags even though it’s got a dual core Tegra processor running at 1ghz. Buying apps off of the app market on my Apple could not be easier. I still have no idea how to do it on my android. I love both phone and iPad and they work well together in sharing information. However Motorola’s camera technology is dirt compared to the iPhone 4S and that may get me to move to an Apple phone the next time I upgrade. What I am working to say is Apple makes their equipment so it all works together as one unit with different portals. At least that’s what I am seeing. If they keep being successful at doing that then Android has a formidable competition ahead. In the end it’s us who win if competition keeps pushing development. 

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