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Samsung takes the top spot

Research firm IDC has published its latest report called the Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker for Q4 2012. This report looks at the overall global smartphone, tablet, and PC market. The report shows a significant increase in the number of units shipped for Q4 2012 compared to the previous year.

IDC reports that vendors shipped 367.7 million desktop PCs, portable PCs, tablets, and smartphones in Q4 2012. That represents an increase of 28.3% from the previous year. When you look at the categories individually both desktop PCs and portable PCs declined during the quarter by -4.1% and -3.4% respectively. Overall shipments in the Smart Connected Devices market totaled over 1.2 billion units for all of 2012.

The largest growth came from the tablet market with 78.4% year-over-year growth compared to 2011. The smartphone market grew 46.1% and accounted for 60.1% of all smart connected devices shipped in 2012. Samsung took the number one position in the smart connected device market in 2012 with a little more than 20% of the market share across all four device categories.

IDC reports that Samsung shipped 250 million PCs, tablets, and smartphones during 2012 for an increase of 119.3% compared to 2011. The bulk of this growth was driven by Samsung's smartphones such as the Galaxy S III. Apple found itself in second place buoyed by strong demand for its iPad and iPhone products.

Rounding out the top five for the Smart Connected Devices market in 2012 was Lenovo at number three, HP at number four, and Dell at number five.

Source: IDC

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RE: The pattern continues
By Tony Swash on 2/22/2013 2:23:49 PM , Rating: 2
It is kind of surprising, especially considering neither Samsung or Apple really has the best stuff available in Mobile. Both seem to have the "Get big, then get conservative, then let everyone pass them by" methodology.

I tend to think that the mobile device market is very specific and is unlike the PC market in profound ways. For example I think 'specs' in the traditional sense of comparative specs lists are seemingly much less significant.

Being a consumer market mobile device brand awareness and reputation are very important and the only brand that has matched Apple is Samsung. Channels are very important in mobile in a way in which they were not in the PC markets and the role of carriers is critical (although less so for Apple because of it's retail store system built over a decade).

Ecosystems are obviously important, so much so and they have so much to do with the added value (and hence profitability) of handset makers that I expect a lot of tension between Samsung and Google over ownership of the ecosystem that is attached to it's handsets.

As an illustration of how the mobile market behaves in ways that is surprising if one is expecting a reprise of the PC markets consider this: as the competition from Android has intensified and as Android sales have outgrown Apple sales Apple's profits as a proportion of the global handset market market have increased. Apple's profit share went from 21% in 2008, to 50% in 2010, to 57% at the start of 2011, 73% at the start of 2012, and 72% at the end of 2012. And that's the proportion of all mobile phone sales profits not just smart phones. So something different than what happened in the PC market is happening.

I wonder if any OEM can find a third space in terms of profits with samsung and Apple so ascendant, and if so which one?

RE: The pattern continues
By retrospooty on 2/22/2013 7:01:47 PM , Rating: 2
"I tend to think that the mobile device market is very specific and is unlike the PC market in profound ways. For example I think 'specs' in the traditional sense of comparative specs lists are seemingly much less significant."

I agree with the "specs" thing, specs for the sake of specs isnt good. For example, any modern high end smartphone is plenty fast. I really dont care if it scores 17000 or 18000 browsermarks. I care that its fast and fluid and that is all. But my comment wasnt really about "Specs" its about features and funtionality. having a full HD screen is a "spec" but its also one that affects a slightly important part of the experience... The part you look at 100% of the time - the screen so that spec matters, as does battery life, sd card, and many others. I just think in both regards, Apple and Sammy have been lacking compared to what else is available. Again, I am just not interested in which company makes more money, I am interested in getting the best product I can for my money, and I wouldn't buy either today. Later this year when the S4 and Motorola X phone are out and I go to buy I will evaluate then. So far the S4 is looking like many others that are already out, so nothing groundbreaking. If a larger iPhone is released, that it worth a look too, but I doubt that will happen this year.

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