Worldwide shipments of smart connected devices grew 29 percent year over year in 2012, crossing 1 billion units shipped with a value of $576.9 billion, according to the International Data Corp. Smart Connected Device Tracker report.
The market expansion was largely driven by 78 percent year-over-year growth in tablet shipments, which surpassed 128 million in 2012, IDC says.
In the fourth quarter of 2012, combined shipments of desktop PCs, notebook PCs, tablets and smartphones was nearly 378 million. In terms of market share, Apple significantly closed the gap with market leader Samsung in the quarter, as the combination of Apple's iPhone 5 and iPad Mini brought Apple up to 20 percent unit shipment share versus 21 percent for Samsung.
IDC expects that tablet shipments will surpass desktop PCs in 2013 and portable PCs in 2014. In 2013, worldwide desktop PC shipments are expected to drop by 4 percent and portable PCs to maintain a flat growth of 0.9 percent. The tablet market, however, is expected to reach a new high of 190 million units shipped with year-on-year growth of 49 percent, while the smartphone market is expected to grow 27 percent to 918.5 million units.
Looking ahead, IDC predicts the worldwide smart connected device market will continue to surge, with shipments surpassing 2.2 billion units by 2017.
"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," Bob O’Donnell, IDC program vice president for clients and displays, said in a statement. "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."
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