Convenience is the name of the game, and today more than ever, mobility is playing a huge factor in consumers' buying decisions for electronic devices. Gadget makers are answering the call, and in the first quarter of 2013, they shipped more than 300 million mobile devices around the world, according to the latest data published by Canalys, a market research and analysis firm.
The number of mobile shipments in Q1 2013 is 37.4 percent higher than it was in the same quarter a year ago, Canalys says. No platform benefited more than Android, which is the OS of choice on nearly 60 percent of all smart mobile devices shipped, followed by iOS at 19.3 percent. Microsoft wasn't far behind Apple, grabbing 18.1 percent of the market.
It should be noted that Canalys isn't just counting tablets and smartphones, but also notebooks and presumably hybrid laptops, too. The tablet market grew the fastest, however, with tablet shipments more than doubling from last year to 41.9 million units.
There were 216.3 million smartphones shipped in Q1, up 47.9 percent year-over-year. Android handsets accounted for more than 75 percent of them, with Samsung leading the way by growing its volume by 64.3 percent, Canalys says.
As for notebook PC shipments, they totaled 50.5 million units, down 13.1 percent compared to Q1 2013. Western Europe saw the biggest decline, where shipments fell by 25.2 percent year-over-year.
"While there are macroeconomic factors that contribute to this ongoing trend, the impact of tablets must not be understated," said Canalys Research Analyst, Pin-Chen Tang. "The combination of ARM-based chipsets and Android has taken computing devices to new, lower price points. If Microsoft and Intel are serious about capitalizing on this exploding market, both will need to ensure that their OEMs can remain competitive on price."
Canalys is likely right, and the good news for Microsoft is that Windows 8 devices are starting to come down in price.