Figures released as part of International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker reveals that the worldwide smart connected device market grew 27.1 percent year-over-year in the third quarter of 2012. With this, the market reached a record 303.6 million shipments valued at $140.4 billion dollars. The smart connected device market is a collective view of PCs, tablets and smartphones. 

The report adds further that the expectations for the holiday season quarter are that shipments will continue to reach record levels rising 19.2 percent over 3Q12 and 26.5 percent over the same quarter a year ago. It shared that the 4Q12 shipments are expected to reach 362 million units with a market value of $169.2 billion dollars. 


Chart showing smart connected device vendors, shipments and market share in Q3 2012

Holiday season growth will be driven by tablets and smartphones, which are expected to grow 55.8 percent and 39.5 percent year-over-year respectively, while PCs are expected to decline slightly from this quarter a year ago.

Samsung maintained the top position in 3Q12 with 21.8 percent market share based on shipments. Apple ranked second overall in shipments. It led all vendors in value with a total of $34.1 billion in 3Q12 and an average selling price (ASP) of $744 across all device categories. Following Samsung's 21.8 percent share and Apple's 15.1 percent share were Lenovo (7.0 percent), HP (4.6 percent) and Sony (3.6 percent). 

It highlighted further that while Samsung, Apple and Lenovo grew share over the past year, HP, which is virtually non-existent in the mobile space, dropped its share from 7.4 percent in 3Q11 to 4.6 percent in 3Q12 with shipments declining to 20.5 percent during that time.

Ryan Reith, Program Manager, Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers at IDC, commented, “The battle between Samsung and Apple at the top of the smart connected device space is stronger than ever. Both vendors compete at the top of the tablet and smartphone markets. However, the difference in their collective ASPs is a telling sign of different market approaches. The fact that Apple's ASP is $310 higher than Samsung's with just over 20 million fewer shipments in the quarter speaks volumes about the premium product line that Apple sells.”

Looking forward, IDC expects the worldwide smart connected device space will continue to surge well past the strong holiday quarter and predicts shipments to surpass 2.1 billion units in 2016 with a market value of $796.7 billion worldwide. 

IDC's research clearly shows this to be a multi-device era, although market dynamics are shifting in terms of product category. IDC shared that in 2011, PC's – a combination of desktop and portable PCs – accounted for 39.1 percent of the smart connected device market. By 2016, it is expected to drop to 19.9 percent. It is expected that smartphones will be the preferred product category with share growing from 53.1 percent in 2011 to 66.7 percent in 2016. Tablets will also grow significantly with share growing from 7.7 percent in 2011 to 13.4 percent in 2016. The shift in demand from the more expensive PC category to more reasonably priced smartphones and tablets will drive the collective market ASP from $534 in 2011 to $378 in 2016.

Bob O'Donnell, Program Vice President, Clients and Displays, added, “Both consumers and business workers are finding the need for multiple 'smart' devices and we expect that trend to grow for several years, especially in more developed regions. The advent of cloud-based services is enabling people to seamlessly move from device to device, which encourages the purchase and usage of different devices for different situations.”

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