Smart Connected Device Market Growth Driven by Smartphones & Tablets: IDC

Smart Connected Device Market Growth Driven by Smartphones & Tablets: IDC


Framingham, MA—Smartphones and tablets are driving mobility growth, according to International Data Corporation’s Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker. IDC reports that vendors shipped 367.7 million desktop PCs, portable PCs, tablets, and smartphones—collectively referred to as “smart connected devices”—in the fourth quarter of 2012. That figure is up 28.3% from the prior year.

Even though desktop PCs and portable PCs declined (-4.1% and -3.4%, respectively), the overall smart connected device space “continued to surge to just over 1.2 billion shipments cumulatively in 2012,” stated the research firm. The largest year-over-year growth was seen in the tablet category, where shipments were up 78.4% over 2011. Additionally, smartphones grew 46.1% but accounted for 60.1% of all smart connected devices shipped throughout the year.

According to the tracking service, the winner among manufacturers of smart connected devices in 2012 was Samsung. Having finishing second to Apple in 2011, Samsung took the number one position in 2012 with just over 20% share across the four device categories, reported IDC. Samsung shipped 250.0 million PCs, tablets and smartphones in 2011, up 119.3% from the previous year; IDC attributed this increase largely to Samsung’s strength in the smartphone category. While Samsung shipped more smartphones and portable PCs than Apple in 2012, the findings revealed that Apple led all in tablet shipments, was eighth in portable PC shipments and fifth in desktop PC shipments.

“Smartphones and tablets are growing at a pace that PCs and tablets can’t realistically keep up with because of device prices and to some extent disposability,” explained Ryan Reith, program manager, Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, IDC. “The average selling price (ASP) for a tablet declined 15.0% in 2012 to $461, and we expect that trend to continue in 2013. However, smartphone APSs are still lower at $408. We expect smartphones to continue to carry a shorter life cycle than PCs for the years to come based on price, use case, and overall device size.”

In the number three position among the top five smart connected device vendors in 2012 was Lenovo, with 6.5% share. Lenovo shipped more than 30 million portable PCs in 2012, and the Chinese vendor grew its smartphone shipments from 3.7 million in 2011 to 23.7 million in 2012. The number four spot went to HP with a 4.8% share, however shipments of smart connected devices were down 8.5% (primarily due to the lack of smartphone/tablet offerings). Coming in at number five was Dell, with 3.2% share, a decrease of 12.9% from 2011.

IDC Tracker products provide market size, vendor share and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than 100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research processes, IDC’s Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly and monthly basis.