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‘Smart’ Stuff To Swallow PCs

According to analysts IDC, shipments of ‘smart ‘devices – helped mainly tablets, smartphones grow 30% in 2012.  Growth of other large ‘smart’ devices like PC’s, notebooks were sluggish by comparison, falling -4% and -3.5%, respectively, last year.

2012 fourth quarter shipments of desktops, notebooks, tablets, and smartphones hit 378 million and worth $168 billion.

Meanwhile, tabs like iPads, Samsung Galaxy Tab grew almost 80% and surpassed 128 million in 2012 – the biggest growth of all smart devices, followed by smartphones like iPhone 5, Samsung S3, up 46%.

IDC predicts iPad and Co will surpass desktops in 2013 and notebooks by 2014. Tablet market will swell almost another 50% this year, while smartphones will grow another 30%.

Apple caught up to the smart supreme leader Samsung in Q4, thanks to mass demand for iPhone 5 and iPad Mini. (Note no mention of PC kings like HP, Dell on the smart leader front).

Cupertino and Android king Samsung are now neck and neck in smart race – Cupertino has 20.3% share V’s 21.2% for Samsung, who has less than 1% lead. 

By 2017, PCs will be just half the size of the tab market – 141 million v tablets 352m. Ouch.

Smartphones will be still the smart device leader on 1.5 bn shipments by 2017.

There was a “huge plunge” in the PC market last year in mature markets like US, Europe says IDC, and is set to be one of the the least purchased smart devices.

However, notebooks including Ultrabooks are set to make a comeback (4% growth in 2017).

“Consumers and business buyers are now starting to see smartphones, tablets, and PCs as a single continuum of connected devices separated primarily by screen size,” added Bob O’Donnell, IDC analyst.

Smart devices like iPad, phones, and phablets like Samsung Galaxy Note are loved for their apps and different screen sizes present “exciting new opportunities.”

“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.”

Between them, iPhone maker and Samsung account for half all smart revenues – although Cupertino based Apple dominate, accounting for one third of revenue of all smart devices sold, with a 10% lead over Samsung, in Q4.

By the end of year 2017, IDC predicts that the tablet and smartphone markets will have a huge growth potential in the emerging markets, and globally smart devices will surpass 2.2 billion.

In emerging markets, consumer spending typically starts with mobile phones and then moves on to tablets before PCs.