Apple Inc. said on Tuesday that its customers spent $1-billion on purchases in its applications store in December, leading to a total of $10-billion worth of apps sold in 2013.
Apple reported app downloads of almost 3 billion apps in December, making it a record month for its App Store, which offers 1 million apps for its iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices.
Meanwhile, research group Gartner said on Tuesday that the number of smartphones and tablet computers shipped with Google Inc.’s Android operating system will break the 1 billion barrier in 2014.
Android is installed on products made by Samsung, HTC, Sony and many other manufacturers, and is forecast to reach 1.1 billion users in 2014, up 26 per cent on last year, with the strongest demand in emerging markets.
Apple’s iOS and Mac OS operating systems are expected to be in 344 million new iPhones, iPads and Macs this year, Gartner added, representing a 28 per cent jump on the number of devices shipped in 2013. Apple competes with devices based on the Android system and phones and tablets based on Microsoft Corp software.
“There is no doubt that there is a volume-versus-value equation, with Android users purchasing lower-cost devices compared to Apple users,” Gartner analyst Annette Zimmerman said in a statement on Tuesday.
Microsoft’s Windows operating system, which dominates the PC and notebook segments, is forecast to be in 360 million new devices, up from 328 million in 2013.
Growth in the PC and notebook segment has been hit by the popularity of tablet computers, sales of which are forecast to increase by 47 per cent this year to 263 million, according to Gartner.
“Users continue to move away from the traditional PC as it becomes more of a shared-content creation tool, while the greater flexibility of tablets, hybrids and lighter notebooks address users’ increasingly different usage demands,” Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal said.
In another possible threat to Microsoft's share of the PC market, Intel Inc. announced at its CES 2014 keynote address that it would release chips designed to run both Windows and Android.
Sales of mobile phones are expected to continue to increase, but at a slower pace, with the focus moving away from top-end premium devices to mid-level products, he added.
Gartner said it expects combined global shipments of all devices to reach 2.48 billion units this year, up 7.6 per cent on 2013.