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Worldwide Smart Connected Device Market, Led by Samsung and Apple, Grew 27.1% in the Third Quarter, According to IDC

The worldwide smart connected device market – a collective view of PCs, tablets, and smartphones – grew 27.1% year-over-year in the third quarter of 2012 (3Q12) reaching a record 303.6 million shipments valued at $140.4 billion dollars. Expectations for the holiday season quarter are that shipments will continue to reach record levels rising 19.2% over 3Q12 and 26.5% over the same quarter a year ago. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker, 4Q12 shipments are expected to reach 362.0 million units with a market value of $169.2 billion dollars. Holiday season growth will be driven by tablets and smartphones, which are expected to grow 55.8% and 39.5% year-over-year respectfully, while PCs are expected to decline slightly from this quarter a year ago.

From a vendor perspective, Samsung maintained the top position in 3Q12 with 21.8% 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 3Q12 and an average selling price (ASP) of $744 across all device categories. Following Samsung's 21.8% share and Apple's 15.1% share were Lenovo (7.0%), HP (4.6%), and Sony (3.6%). While Samsung, Apple, and Lenovo have all grown share over the past year, HP, which is virtually non-existent in the mobile space, has dropped its share from 7.4% in 3Q11 to 4.6% in 3Q12 with shipments declining -20.5% during that time.

"The battle between Samsung and Apple at the top of the smart connected device space is stronger than ever," said Ryan Reith, program manager, Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers at IDC. "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. In 2011, PC's – a combination of desktop and portable PCs – accounted for 39.1% of the smart connected device market. By 2016 it is expected to drop to 19.9%. Smartphones will be the preferred product category with share growing from 53.1% in 2011 to 66.7% in 2016. Tablets will also grow significantly with share growing from 7.7% in 2011 to 13.4% 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.

"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," said Bob O'Donnell, program vice president, Clients and Displays. "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."


Top 5 Smart Connected Device Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, Q3 2012

(shipments in millions)


3Q12 Unit


3Q12 Market


3Q11 Unit


3Q11 Market



Samsung     66.1     21.8%     33.5     14.0%     97.5%
Apple     45.8     15.1%     33.1     13.9%     38.3%
Lenovo     21.1     7.0%     13.2     5.5%     60.0%
HP     14.0     4.6%     17.6     7.4%     -20.5%
Sony     11.0     3.6%     8.7     3.7%     25.4%
Other     145.6     48.0%     132.7     55.6%     9.7%
Total     303.6     100.0%     238.9     100.0%     27.1%

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker, December 10, 2012.


Smart Connected Device Market by Product Category, Shipments, Market Share, 2012-1016

(shipments in millions)



2016 Unit


2016 Market


2012 Unit


2012 Market



Desktop PC     151.0     7.2%     149.2     12.5%     1.2%
Portable PC     268.8     12.8%     205.1     17.2%     31.1%
Smartphone     1405.3     66.7%     717.5     60.1%     95.9%
Tablet     282.7     13.4%     122.3     10.2%     131.2%
Total     2107.8     100.0%     1194.0     100.0%     76.5%

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker, December 10, 2012.


In addition to the table above, a graphic illustrating IDC's smart connected devices forecast for 2011-2016 is available at IDC.com. The chart is intended for public use in online news articles and social media. Instructions on how to embed this graphic can be found by viewing this press release on IDC.com.

About IDC Trackers

IDC Tracker products provide accurate and timely 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. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly excel deliverables and on-line query tools. The IDC Tracker Charts app allows users to view data charts from the most recent IDC Tracker products on their iPhone and iPad.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 48 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com.

All product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

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