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A forecast published today by market intelligence company Gartner suggests that a billion Android devices could be shipped in 2014.

The company is predicting that while PC sales will fall 10.6 percent year-on-year, and phones grow at a modest 4.3 percent, tablets will grow 67.9 percent – with Android taking the largest share … 

“Consumers want anytime-anywhere computing that allows them to consume and create content with ease, but also share and access that content from a different portfolio of products. Mobility is paramount in both mature and emerging markets,” said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner.

There has been a gradual shift in demand from PCs to tablets as many find that a tablet meets their computing needs in a cheaper and more portable form-factor. The lifecycle of smartphones has also slowed in recent years as developed markets reach saturation point and the economy has led many to delay upgrades.

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Another trend which Gartner expects to continue is a shift towards cheaper tablets, giving the example of Apple’s iPad:

“There has also been a shift as many consumers go from premium tablets to basic tablets. The share of basic tablets is expected to increase faster than anticipated, as sales of the iPad Mini already represented 60 per cent of overall iOS sales in the first quarter of 2013.”