Jan. 7 - Cheaper prices for devices using Google's Android operating system are driving sales, says consulting firm Gartner. Fred Katayama reports.
Cheaper can be better. Mobile devices using the Android operating system will surpass the 1 billion mark this year. Gartner, which did the study, says Android's cheaper prices are driving sales compared to Apple's devices. It also says more than three-fourths of Android's users by 2017 will come from emerging markets, where consumers prefer lower priced phones and computers. Google's Android is expected to grow 26 percent to 1.1 billion, triple that of Microsoft's and Apple's operating systems for mobile devices and PCs. Gartner says mobile phones will dominate the device market. But tablets are growing much faster, especially smaller tablets. Also good for Google: shipments of devices using its Chrome operating system are expected to more than double this year. And its high flying stock got more love from Wall Street this morning. It tops Deutsche Bank's "must own" list for 2014. And J.P. Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth hiked his price target to $1,305 from $1,100. He said: "the company's strong position in both mobile and video should drive continued share gains in online advertising..." Google rose modestly at the start of trade, adding on to its gains of nearly 60 percent last year.