The number of devices that will be shipped with GoogleGOOG +1.04%’s Android software is expected to overtake all other mobile and PC operating systems by 2015, according to data from the research firm Gartner that was compiled by Statista.
The number of devices running iOS and OS X is increasing as AppleAAPL +1.60% ships more iPhones, iPads and Macs around the world. But Apple’s operating systems are exclusive to Apple devices — there’s just one manufacturer, albeit a big one. Android can be used by any third party like Samsung, MotorolaMSI +0.01% and LG, for example. So it makes sense that there are going to be more Android devices, much like the flood of Windows PCs in the 1980s and ’90s.
If you’re wondering how the columns for “other” could be so tall considering they exclude Google, Apple and MicrosoftMSFT -0.51%, it’s partly because the data include the software running older mobile phones known as “feature” phones, or less-affectionately “dumphones.” In 2012, for example, 1.75 billion mobile phones were shipped; of these only 680 million were smartphones, Gartner has said. Smartphone sales didn’t overtake feature-phone sales until 2013. While Apple phones are still pretty pricey, the lower-end phone makers now have Android as an option.