According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide shipments of smart connected devices grew 29.1% 2012 when compared to 2011, crossing 1 billion units shipped with a value of $576.9 billion. The market expansion was largely driven by a 78.4% year-over-year growth in tablet shipments, which surpassed 128 million in 2012, the IDC reported.
The company’s research shows that nearly 378 million desktop PCs, notebook PCs, tablets, and smartphones combined were shipped in the fourth quarter of 2012, bringing in revenues of over $168 million.
Looking to the future, the IDC expects tablet shipments to surpass desktop PCs this year and portable PCs in 2014. Based on past research and current trends, the company also predicts that, within this year, worldwide desktop PC shipments will drop by 4.3% while portable PCs will maintain a flat growth of 0.9%.
In terms of smart connected devices, the report shows potential for the tablet market to reach a new high of 190 million shipment units with year-on-year growth of 48.7% while the smartphone market is expected to grow 27.2% to 918.5 million units.
“In emerging markets, consumer spending typically starts with mobile phones and, in many cases, moves to tablets before PCs,” said Megha Saini, Research Analyst for IDC’s Worldwide Smart Connected Device Tracker. “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.”
By 2017, the worldwide smart connected device space a will continue to surge with shipments surpassing 2.2 billion units and revenues reaching $814.3 billion, the IDC estimates.
This research comes at a time when several different reports have indicated high tablet growth and overall smart connected device growth potential and presence in the digital market.
Earlier this month, for example, ABI released a report predicting that tablets will generate 35% of 2013 app revenue and surpass smartphone app revenue by 2018.
NPD also released a report just last week indicating that there are now more than half a billion devices connected to the internet and delivering apps in U.S. homes, with the number of connected devices per household growing to 5.7 from 5.3 devices three months ago.
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