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March 27, 2013

Over a billion smart devices shipped in 2012: report

Apple and Samsung battled it out in Q4

By CBR Staff Writer

Tablets drove the global smart connected device shipments to over one billion units during 2012, up 29.1% over 2011, according to IDC Smart Connected Device Tracker.

In 2012, the global smart connected device market reached $576.9m, while tablet shipments rose 78.4% to 128 million compared to the same period in 2011.

During the fourth quarter of 2012 (4Q12), combined shipments of desktop PCs, notebook PCs, tablets and smartphones reached 378 million, while their combined revenue reached $168bn.

Apple and Samsung closely competed during the quarter with unit shipment shares of 20.3% and 21.2% respectively, while Apple dominated Samsung in terms of revenues with 30.7% share compared to 20.4% for Samsung.

IDC is anticipating tablet shipments to surpass desktop PCs in 2013 and portable PCs in 2014.

In 2013, global desktop PC shipments are expected to decline by 4.3%, while portable PCs are anticipated to maintain a flat growth of 0.9%.

The tablet shipments during 2013 are expected to reach 190 million units, up 48.7% over 2012, while the smartphone market is expected to reach 918.5 million units, up 27.2%.

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Emerging markets topped the list of smart connected device volume which rose 41.3% in 2012 with the tablet volume rising 111.3% and smartphone volume by 69.7%, while mature markets reported 15.6% rise and reported a plunge in the PC market during the year.

By the end of 2017, tablet unit shipments are anticipated to rise by a factor of three with a shipment value of $125bn, with smartphone unit shipments expected to reach $462bn.

On the other hand, portable PCs would report a single-digit growth while desktop PCs are projected to decline year over year with no growth in 2017.

IDC Worldwide Smart Connected Device Tracker research analyst Megha Saini said in emerging markets, consumer spending typically starts with mobile phones and, in many cases, moves to tablets before PCs. "The pressure on the PC market is significantly increasing and we can see longer replacement cycles coming into effect very soon and that, too, will put downward pressure on PC sales," Saini said.

IDC predicts the global smart connected device shipments will surpass 2.2 billion units and revenues reach $814.3bn in 2017.

IDC Clients and Displays programme vice president Bob O’Donnell said consumers and business buyers are now starting to see smartphones, tablets, and PCs as a single continuum of connected devices separated primarily by screen size.

"Each of these devices is primarily used for data applications and different individuals choose different sets of screen sizes in order to fit their unique needs," O’Donnell said.

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