Apple and Samsung dominate the global connected smart device market as smartphone sales outpace PCs

Apple and Samsung now manufacture most of the connected smart devices market – covering desktop PCs, portable PCs, smartphones and tablets – according to new figures from IDC.

The figures reveal smartphones were easily the most popular type of smart device in 2012, with 717.5 million units shipped, outpacing sales of portable PCs (205.1 million), desktop PCs (149.2 million units) and tablets (122.3 million units).

Unsurprisingly, the top two vendors during the third quarter were Samsung (66.1 million units) and Apple (45.8 million units). Lenovo (21.1 million), HP (14.0 million) and Sony (11 million) round out the top five vendors.

Interestingly, Samsung’s sales for the third quarter of 2012 are now comparable to the combined sales of Apple (33.5 million units) and Samsung (33.1 million units) for the same quarter last year. In comparison to the same quarter last year, Lenovo (13.2 million units) and Sony (8.7 million units) grew, while HP slipped (17.6 million).

In total, around 303.6 million units across all categories of smart devices were sold for the quarter, meaning that Apple and Samsung accounted for 36.9% of all connected smart devices shipped during the quarter.

The study also predicts the shape of the connected smart device market in 2016, suggesting that annual shipments of smartphones will nearly double to 1.4 billion units.

Meanwhile, tablet devices (282.7 million units) in 2016 will outpace sales for either portable PCs (268.8 million units) or desktop PCs (151 million units).

The figures highlight the growing importance of SMEs ensuring their online content works well across tablet and smartphone devices.


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