IDC Report:Tablets fueling growth in smart devices
Research firm IDC latest statistics shows worldwide shipments of personal computers, tablets and smartphones grew 29.1 percent in 2012 to 1.2 billion units with a value of $576.9 billion. Tablet computers fueled the growth in 2012 in the market for smart connected devices, which crossed the threshold of one billion units for the first time, according to a study released last night. Expansion was largely driven by 78.4% growth in tablet shipments, which hit 128 million last year. IDC said sales of desktop and portable personal computers fell 4.1 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively, for the year, while smartphones were up 46 percent. In terms of the future, IDC forecast tablet shipments could surpass desktop PCs this year and portable PCs next year. It predicted tablet sales could grow another 48.7% this year to 190 million units.
IDC said Apple closed the gap with market leader Samsung in the fourth quarter, as the combination of iPhone 5 and iPad Mini that brought Apple up to 20.3% market share versus 21.2% for Samsung for these devices. Because Apple devices are more expensive, Apple had 30.7% of revenues compared to 20.4% for Samsung. Also, IDC predicts the worldwide smart connected device space will continue to surge with shipments hitting 2.2 billion units and revenues of $814.3 billion in 2017. The smartphone market is expected to grow 27.2% to 918.5 million units according to IDC and sales of traditional PCs will struggle again, especially in emerging economies like India and China. In emerging markets, IDC said the consumer spending typically starts with mobile phones and, in many cases, moves to tablets before PCs. The pressure on the PC market is significantly increasing and we can see longer replacement cycles coming into effect very soon and that, too, will put downward pressure on PC sales.