Google's Android will surpass Microsoft's Windows as the most popular operating system in the world by 2016, research firm IDC predicted in a study released Thursday.
The study, which combines usually disparate computer sectors such as PCs, smartphones and mobile devices under the category "smart connected devices," said that PCs running Windows would slip from their current market share of 36 percent to just 25 percent in 2016.
Android devices would rise from 29 percent to 31 per cent, while devices such as the iPad and iPhone which run Apple's iOS operating system will increase their share of the market from 14.6 percent to 17 percent, the study predicted.
IDC said that 2011 saw total sales of 916 million smart connected devices, with revenues of 489 billion dollars. 2012 unit shipments are set to surpass 1.1 billion with sales growing to 1.84 billion by 2016.
"Smartphone growth will be driven by Asia/Pacific countries, especially China, where mobile operators are subsidizing the purchase of 3G smartphones, thus increasing the total addressable market," said Will Stofega, IDC program director, Mobile Phone Technologies and Trends. "In many if not all instances, the smartphone will be the primary connection to the Internet."
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