IDC: Android devices will eclipse Windows PCs by 2016

As more and more people purchase smartphones and tablets based on Android and iOS, Windows PCs will lose market share to both of these platforms in the smart connected device industry. That's the conclusion of a new study from IDC, which says that in 2011, the combined sales of PCs, tablets and smartphones totaled $489 billion, with 916 million units shipped worldwide.

PCs that run some version of Microsoft's Windows OS had 35.9 percent of the smart connected market in 2011. However, IDC has predicted that by 2016, only 25.1 percent of those devices shipped to consumers will be based on Windows PCs. By contrast, Google's Android-based devices, which had a 29.4 percent share of the market in 2011, will expand to 31.1 percent in 2016, eclipsing that of Windows PCs.

Devices that run on Apple' iOS platform will also expand from a 14.6 percent share of the market in 2011 to 17.3 percent in 2016, according to the study. By then, the smart connected device marketplace would have expanded to 1.84 billion units shipped worldwide, more than double the number of units shipped in 2011.

The IDC study, however, doesn't mention anything about its predictions for the adoption of Windows 8, which is designed for both PCs and tablets and is currently expected to start shipments later this year. It also doesn't predict what Windows Phone-based devices might do during the same time period.

Image via IDC

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36 Comments

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I wonder how much these stats take into account recycled devices. I bought a used PC well actually 2 and re installed XP sp3 on them. I also upgraded my wife's laptop from Vista to 7. Are any of those counted towards the new total.? I also gave my daughter my old Android phone and she just uses it as a pmp for now but with all her info in it. i wonder if that is a new activation or how does that work?

Is a netbook or laptop with broadband connection considered a smarted connect device? Without a clear and meaningful definition, this forecast does seem baseless...

I don't see PC and smartphone the same thing. I use a PC to do my college work and carry my smartphone to communicate with families and friends. Are we comparing orange and apple here?

atisho said,
I don't see PC and smartphone the same thing. I use a PC to do my college work and carry my smartphone to communicate with families and friends. Are we comparing orange and apple here?

Absolutely true. The whole comparison is stupid. We can go ahead and compare PC sales to, say, lightbulb sales. And scream in terror, as lightbulbs have been ruling the market for as long as we can remember. So, we never actually were in PC era. It's the lightbulb era.

Jose_49 said,
Bitch please! Let's wait for Win8 release, and we'll talk about this **** later....

Bitch please! You have more issues than Vogue...

the thing I hate about forcasts, is some new device always pops up and ruins them..... sure we have smart phones now, but in 2015 we could have something that replaces smart phones! heck for all we know internet connected watches could be invented.... oh wait...... MSN Dot right

Google should focus a lot more on Android on tablets and quality tablet apps, and make Android easily upgradeable too on tablets. I would love to see Android rise on tablets,.

xpclient said,
Google should focus a lot more on Android on tablets and quality tablet apps, and make Android easily upgradeable too on tablets. I would love to see Android rise on tablets,.

It's happening, it just takes time. By all accounts Android has captured 40% of the tablet market. That in itself isn't bad. Now that ICS is out, I think it's a game changer.

Maaaaaan...i bet PCs will see the same numbers if buying a PC was as easy as a phone. How many people you know wouldn't get a new $500 PC if all they had to do was pay a penny or $99 dollars at the beginning ( two year contract )? This is what they do for phones today!! Not too many people spending the $500 bucks on a unlocked phone. Maybe Microsoft should have the carrier stores sell PCs this way...LOL

Maaaaaan!!

This stands to reason as everyone beyond a certain age in a family tends to have a phone while you only need one full blown PC per household. Additionally people (in the U.S. anyway) tend to replace their phones around every two years when their contract is up while they hold on to the PCs for longer. So yeah there will be more smartphone sales than PC sales but the PC's not going to be REPLACED by smartphones... at least not anytime soon.

Asmodai said,
This stands to reason as everyone beyond a certain age in a family tends to have a phone while you only need one full blown PC per household. Additionally people (in the U.S. anyway) tend to replace their phones around every two years when their contract is up while they hold on to the PCs for longer. So yeah there will be more smartphone sales than PC sales but the PC's not going to be REPLACED by smartphones... at least not anytime soon.

PCs are more expensive too. Mobile phones on contracts are relatively cheap.

UndergroundWire said,

PCs are more expensive too. Mobile phones on contracts are relatively cheap.

While true there are PCs that are definitely in the 300 range (obviously without a monitor and keyboard and mouse but the average family will never upgrade these unless one breaks). And the average consumer buys no PC that is over $500. Hell my parents have a Dell desktop with a Pentium 4 in it and 1gb of ram running XP as well as 2 Dell Inspiron laptops that are a good year and a half old running vista with the barebone specs (well the core i3 barebone specs).

As more and more people buy android devices... Toyota will loose market share.... pc vendors might loose sales because I am still running by hp pav dv6000 since xp and now am on windows 8. people who buy pc today know its so powerful and can last them for 5 to 10 years. they will only upgrade their os. Useless comparison.

If you look at the graph, it indicates smart phones will out pace pc sales, however, it still shows PC sales growing (not declining) just not as fast as smart phones.

I love how the predictions assume that MS will be standing still like they have been for the past 5 years. MS woke up a while back they are just wiping the goo from there eyes. Soon things will be much clearer.

jimmyfal said,
I love how the predictions assume that MS will be standing still like they have been for the past 5 years. MS woke up a while back they are just wiping the goo from there eyes. Soon things will be much clearer.

They didn't wake up. They were under a 10 year agreement with the DoJ from 2001 to NOT integrate their various products into one cohesive ecosystem as a result of the anti-trust law suit from Apple, Netscape and a few other companies. That agreement expired on May 12, 2011. They've done a remarkable job in my opinion to build up those individual siloed services and divisions and over the next few years we should see tighter and broader integration of their services the way their primary competitors (Apple, Google, RIM, etc) have been able to do without having legal council sitting in the corner of every strategy meeting saying "No you can't do that".

jimmyfal said,
I love how the predictions assume that MS will be standing still like they have been for the past 5 years. MS woke up a while back they are just wiping the goo from there eyes. Soon things will be much clearer.

Only except Microsoft HASN'T been standing still the past 5 years. Vista changed a lot of things, Windows 7 sealed the deal, and now Windows 8 is bringing massive changes as well. Microsoft has been busy as a bee lately, which is a good thing.

This has nothing to do with how many there models there are, this is SHIPMENTS.

It's a simple fact that smartphones are considered by many to be so disposable there are people changing them every half a year! PC's are no where near to being considered that disposable. Heck, people are still running PC's they bought with Windows XP from years ago...

funkydude said,
This has nothing to do with how many there models there are, this is SHIPMENTS.

Wrong these are new device activations.

nominak said,
Well, considering they release a new android phone every week, not really surprising.

And I'm sure a new PC is released every week.

nominak said,
Well, considering they release a new android phone every week, not really surprising.

As thealexweb said, there are new PC's out daily. It still doesn't halt the decline though.

nominak said,
Well, considering they release a new android phone every week, not really surprising.

There i fixed it for you... "Well, considering people buying 850k Android devices a day, not really surprising."
That was a silly comment from you...

still1 said,

There i fixed it for you... "Well, considering people buying 850k Android devices a day, not really surprising."
That was a silly comment from you...

Isn't it "shipped units" instead of "sold units"?

Anthonyd said,

Isn't it "shipped units" instead of "sold units"?

Yes, but not only that, that statistic was from Christmas when it will be at its highest. Doesn't stop the fanboys from flaunting it as some kind of daily statistic, though.

Anthonyd said,

Isn't it "shipped units" instead of "sold units"?

No, its sold units not shipped... when you buy a phone and login with ur google user name and password for the first time it counts as one activation in google server. so those number are no of phone activated by consumer connecting with their google account.

funkydude said,

Yes, but not only that, that statistic was from Christmas when it will be at its highest. Doesn't stop the fanboys from flaunting it as some kind of daily statistic, though.


The 850K number is no of units activated by users every day and not units shipped...
and you said "YES" replying to Anthonyd?? wow!! And fanboys of other OS try to lie about the number to others to make them self feel good.
Second, the 850K number is NOT from Christmas it was from Mobile World Congress which happened last month.http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-1...devices-activated-each-day/

Christmas numbers are 700k . here is proof http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035...es-every-day/?tag=mncol;txt
So, none of the thing you said were true.

recursive said,

Looks like the WP camp is butt hurt that they don't have any numbers to show.

Stop spreading FUD, they have numbers. It just really, really, really, really small. That black dot on the graph represents WP, LOL.

UndergroundWire said,

Stop spreading FUD, they have numbers. It just really, really, really, really small. That black dot on the graph represents WP, LOL.


what black dot?? clean your monitor!! it might be dirt.. Its really really really small you cant even represent it with a black dot on this graph hahaha...

still1 said,

what black dot?? clean your monitor!! it might be dirt.. Its really really really small you cant even represent it with a black dot on this graph hahaha...

LOL.

UndergroundWire said,

Stop spreading FUD, they have numbers. It just really, really, really, really small. That black dot on the graph represents WP, LOL.

Lol how come the black dot is below the x axis? Oh right, these numbers represent sales, WPs are given away to losers at silly competitions or with a box of cereals.