Worldwide Smart Connected Devices Market to surpass 2 billion units in 2016

A recent research by International Data Corporation (IDC), revealed that the worldwide market for smart connected devices—a combination of PCs, smartphones, and tablets—reached 267.3 million units shipped in the second quarter of 2012 (2Q12). This reflects a 27.4 per cent increase year over year and a 2.8 per cent rise from the prior quarter.

IDC found that both consumers and business buyers around the world continue to show an aggressive appetite for these client devices, adding to the already large collection of devices that are still in active use. On a revenue basis, the total was $131.5 billion worldwide, a 16.3% year-over-year increase, but a 2.7% quarter-over-quarter decline.

In the US market, unit shipments for 2Q12 fell 7.8% sequentially and 5% annually to just under 47.4 million units. Revenues for the combined categories slipped to $24.8 billion, a 10.3% sequential and 8.6% annual drop.

According to the report, the smart connected devices will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14 percent from 2012 to 2016. Smartphones already represent over 59 per cent of the category and will grow by nearly 15.8% annually, approaching 63% of device shipments in 2016. Tablets will rise from around 10 per cent share this year to 13 per cent by 2016, reducing PC share from 31 per cent to 24 per cent. Though the Asia/Pacific region leads in total PC and smartphone shipments, the tablet shipments have been relatively concentrated in more mature markets. EMEA is expected to gain share in tablets during the forecast while the Americas and Asia/Pacific will increase volume but capture a smaller share of the global total.

Bob O’Donnell, program vice president for Clients and Displays, said,”The recent shipment data clearly demonstrates that we have fully entered into the multi-device era, where individuals are buying and using multiple devices per person, most often with different combinations of operating systems. The implications of this development on application developers, device makers, Web service providers, businesses, and even individuals is profound.”

The report forecasts that the worldwide total unit shipments for smart connected devices will reach nearly 1.2 billion in 2012, a 27.4% increase over 2011, and grow to 1.4 billion in 2013, a 19.2% year-over-year increase. It further predicts that the combined worldwide smart connected devices market will surpass 2 billion units in 2016.

According the report, the Asia/Pacific market is expected to top well over 860 million units by 2016. The Americas should also experience continued growth, bringing its total device count to over 600 million by 2016 and a CAGR of 13.7% compared to 2012. EMEA is expected to grow at a slower pace relative to other regions, with volume totaling just over 530 million by 2016 and a CAGR of 12.6%. Though smartphones will make up the bulk of the growth volume, tablets are expected to grow the fastest at over 22% CAGR between 2012 and 2016.

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