There Are “Others” and Then There Are “Others”…

“Others” is a convenient category to put things in when stuff you don’t care about happens. GNU/Linux is something I care about but not Gartner. They lump GNU/Linux in with all that other stuff that’s not from M$, Apple, or Google but, hey, I can subtract.

Let’s do some maths. Usually “Others” is tiny. The biggest, “Others” I’ve seen is about 40% of PCs being shipped by other than the big five OEMs. Gartner has tabulated all the PCs of every kind shipped last year, this year and next year and “Others” in the emerging markets is huge, 520 million units this year. That’s in the operating system category. That’s more than the total number of legacy PCs. Smartphones are the biggest category. In Africa, for instance, according to StatCounter, “Series 40” smartphones make up about 10% of page-views. Even on StatCounter, “others” is huge, about 12%. Series 40s phones are being dumped there according to one commentator, but that’s a huge number of units… Did Nokia really stockpile that many? According to Wikipedia, BlackBerry still ships a few million and left a few million as “others”. On the other hand, 520 million units is nearly 20% of all devices shipped globally… Conveniently not listing their OS is a little too convenient if you ask me. I’d like to know how many are GNU/Linux.

See Gartner Says Sales of Tablets Will Represent Less Than 10 Percent of All Devices in 2014.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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5 Responses to There Are “Others” and Then There Are “Others”…

  1. ram wrote, “Gartner is pretty close to being a contractor for Microsoft, so they are unlikely to report the true figures.”

    I would not doubt that Gartner and others are in the pay of M$ as part of PR or “technological evangelization” but Gartner and others do sell thorough reports for $thousands and I doubt they could do that if the nitty-gritty stuff was all hidden. The real problem is that almost anyone who matters in IT-industries is a “partner” of M$ and unlikely to rock the boat. You can see that in e-mails in the mid-1990s re the browser wars. M$ seemed to go to any length to stifle competition. They did that rather than ship a good product. That’s basically why I left M$’s fold. Only later did I find out how lucky I was to escape.

  2. ram says:

    Gartner is pretty close to being a contractor for Microsoft, so they are unlikely to report the true figures.

  3. oiaohm says:

    There are a lot of items that appear in others. Android fork phones for china market like Color OS appear under other. Sailfish of course appears under others. Same with many others. There will be quite a lot of Linux based stuff in other. Most of the non Linux stuff in other is announcing that it no longer going to be produced. There use to be a cat on Gartner that was Linux generic. This use to hold like 10 percent of the phone market.

  4. dougman says:

    Subsidized cell phones are far cheaper, then deploying Blackberry phones and its server component. Seriously, it has to be pushing 5-years since I have seen either being used.

    “Smartphones to Represent 71 Percent of the Global Mobile Phone Market in 2014 – Android Device Shipments to Reach One Billion in Emerging Markets in 2015”

    Ahhh, smartphones, a market that M$ does not control in the least bit, well, unless you throw in the payments the OEM’s are paying them from patent extortion, but eh.

    In the long-term picture, M$ is in a losing position, as owning 90% of all devices previously to now commanding ONLY 14%, it’s future is rather bleak I say.

  5. DrLoser says:

    Perhaps you might consider subtracting “Series 40” from the column for “Others,” Robert?

    Ten per cent in Africa is a pretty decent showing. I’d be buying into it, given your perspective. Try Series 40 today!

    And I assume that you will continue to publish honest figures for web stats, unlike those naughty “other-fixated” types. Here’s an idea! Subtract “Series 40” from the “others” column and surface it as a real contender!

    But, what to do about the remaining bit of “others?”

    Neglected others? Unpopular others? Others that might have been a contender, except that Series 40 beat them to it?

    It is your blog. Your decision. I bow to you.

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