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Tablets Fuel Increase in Smart Connected Device Shipments

David Murphy

367.7m smart connected devices (desktop PCs, portable PCs, tablets, and smartphones were shipped in the fourth quarter of 2012 up 28.3 per cent on Q4, 2011, according to the latest Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker from IDC.

Shipments for the entire year totalled just over 1.2bn, with desktop PC and portable PC shipments declining by 4.1 per cent and 3.4 per cent, respectively. Tablet shipments, on the other hand, were 78.4 per cent up on 2011, while smartphones grew 46.1 per cent, and accounted for 60.1 per cent of all smart connected devices shipped throughout the year.

After finishing 2011 second to Apple in the smart connected device market, Samsung arose to the number one position in 2012 with a 21.2 per cent share across the four device categories. Samsung shipped 250m PCs, tablets, and smartphones in the past year, up 119.3 per cent from the previous year, driven largely in part by its surge in the smartphone space. While Samsung managed to ship more smartphones and portable PCs than Apple in 2012, Apple led all in tablet shipments, was eighth in portable PC shipments, and fifth overall in desktop PC shipments. Apple’s share overall was 20.3 per cent.

"Smartphones and tablets are growing at a pace that PCs can't realistically keep up with because of device prices and to some extent disposability," said Ryan Reith, program manager, Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers at IDC. "The average selling price (ASP) for a tablet declined 15 per cent in 2012 to $461 (£302), and we expect that trend to continue in 2013. However, smartphone ASPs 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."