Emerging market sales of smartphones, tablets and PCs expected to hit a billion units next year

Sales of smart devices to emerging countries – including desktop PCs, notebook computers, tablets and smartphones – are expected to hit a billion units next year, compared to just 650 million units, according to new IDC figures.

The rapid growth is expected to be dominated by around 662 million units expected to be purchased in Brazil, Russia, India and China.

In contrast, the US, UK and Japan will account for just 400 million units.

However, in both developed and emerging markets, the vast majority of the growth is expected to come in smartphones and tablets as desktop and laptop PC sales contract.

In emerging markets, IDC predicts sales of desktop PCs to contract from 92.9 million units in 2012 to 84.9 million in 2013, while laptop sales are expected to fall from 106.8 million to 103.8 million.

In contrast, emerging market tablet sales will expand from 53.6 million in 2012 to 97.3 million in 2013, while smartphone sales will grow from 425.9 million to 619.8 million.

A similar trend is expected in developed markets, where desktop shipments are expected to drop from 55.3 million units in 2012 to 49.5 million units in 2013, while the laptop market will contract from 94.1 million units in to 83.5 million.

During the same timeframe, tablet sales will expand from 90.8 million in to 131.9 million in 2013, while smartphone sales will grow from 296.5 million to 338.9 million.

“Smartphone and tablet prices are now less prohibitive to first-time buyers in emerging markets,” says IDC program vice president of clients and displays, Bob O’Donnell.

“Although the double-digit growth of smartphones and tablets in emerging countries is a mouthwatering prospect, the low selling price also means that vendors will face huge struggles to meet the demands profitably. Given the competitive price points for cheaper smartphones and tablets, this price war is a race to the bottom and it’s not at all clear that this low-end market offers sustainable profits to smartphone and tablet vendors.”


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