Android and ARM are going FTW
Analysts at IDC say they expect a "relatively dramatic" industry shift to occur between 2011 and 2016.
Indeed, the once-dominant x86 WinTel paradigm is projected to slip from a leading 35.9% share in 2011 down to 25.1% in 2016.
Concurrently, the number of Android-based devices running on ARM CPUs will increase from a 29.4% share in 2011 to an impressive market-leading 31.1% share in 2016.
iOS-based devices are also pegged to experience an increase in market share, as they remain on track to jump from 14.6% in 2011 to 17.3% in 2016.
"Android's growth is tied directly to the propagation of lower-priced devices. So, while we expect dozens of hardware vendors to own some share in the Android market, many will find profitability difficult to sustain," explained IDC analyst Tom Mainelli.
"Similarly, we expect a large percentage of application developers to continue to focus their efforts on iOS, despite the platform's smaller overall market share, because iOS end users have proven more willing to pay for high-quality apps."
Meanwhile, IDC analyst Bob O'Donnell noted that the industry had officially entered a "multi-device" age.
"We believe the number of people who use multiple devices will only continue to increase. The trick, moving forward, will be to integrate all these devices into a unified whole through use of personal cloud-type applications and services. That's the real challenge of what we have often called the 'PC Plus' era. "
"[Nevertheless], whether it's consumers looking for a phone that can tap into several robust 'app' ecosystems, businesses looking at deploying tablet devices into their environments, or educational institutions working to update their school's computer labs, smart, connected, compute-capable devices are playing an increasingly important role in nearly every individual's life," he added.