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Growth in smart connected devices expected to continue

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 12:26pm
Andrew Berg, Wireless Week

The global connected device market continues to grow, according to the latest numbers from IDC Research.

According to the report, shipments of PCs, tablets and smartphones as a collective grew 27 percent annually in the third quarter of 2012, hitting a record 303.6 million shipments valued at $140.4 billion.

IDC said expectations for the holiday season quarter are that shipments will continue to reach record levels, rising 19.2 percent over the third quarter and 26.5 percent over the same quarter a year ago. Total fourth-quarter shipments are expected to reach 362 million units, with a market value of $169.2 billion.

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

IDC credits at least part of the growth to the advent of cloud-based services, which enable people to more easily move from device to device, which in turn encourages the purchase and usage of different devices for different situations.

From a vendor perspective, Samsung maintained the top position in the third quarter with 21.8 percent market share based on shipments. Apple, which ranked second overall in shipments, led all vendors in value with a total of $34.1 billion in the quarter 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 percent), HP (4.6 percent) and Sony (3.6 percent).

Ryan Reith, program manager at IDC, said that the big difference between Apple and Samsung's 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," Reith says.

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.

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