Samsung, Apple Lead Smart Connected Device Market
Samsung and Apple lead the smart connected device market in the third quarter of 2012 with the South Korean company leading in shipments while the iPhone maker leading in profit per device. Reuters

The worldwide smart connected device market – a collective view of PCs, tablets and smartphones – grew 27.1 percent year-over-year in the third quarter of 2012 (3Q12) reaching a record 303.6 million shipments valued at $140.4 billion. The market leaders in the sector were Samsung (NASDAQ:SSNLF) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) with the South Korean company leading in shipments while the iPhone maker leading in profit per device, according to a new report by research firm IDC.

The report stated that Samsung maintained the top position in 3Q12 with 21.8 percent market share based on shipments. On the other hand, Apple, which ranked second overall in shipments (15.1 percent of market share), led all vendors in value with a total of $34.1 billion in 3Q12 and an average selling price (ASP) of $744 across all device categories.

Following Samsung and Apple were Lenovo (7.0 percent), HP (4.6 percent) and Sony (3.6 percent). While Samsung, Apple and Lenovo have all grown their market share over the past year, HP, which is virtually non-existent in the mobile space, has dropped its market share from 7.4 percent in 3Q11 to 4.6 percent in 3Q12 with shipments declining -20.5 percent during that time.

“Both vendors (Samsung and Apple) compete at the top of the tablet and smartphone markets,” IDC program manager Ryan Reith said in a statement Monday.

“However, the difference in their collective ASPs is a telling sign of different market approaches. The fact that Apple's ASP is $310 higher than Samsung's with just over 20 million fewer shipments in the quarter speaks volumes about the premium product line that Apple sells.”

According to IDC, the shipments are expected to reach record levels in the holiday season quarter, rising 19.2 percent over 3Q12 and 26.5 percent over the same quarter a year ago. The 4Q12 shipments are expected to reach 362.0 million units with a market value of $169.2 billion.

The research firm also forecast shipments for the next four years. According to it, the worldwide smart connected device space will continue to surge well past the strong holiday quarter and the shipments will surpass 2.1 billion units in 2016 with a market value of $796.7 billion worldwide.

In 2011, PCs – a combination of desktop and portable PCs – accounted for 39.1 percent of the smart connected device market. It is expected to drop to 19.9 percent by 2016.

On the other hand, smartphones will be the preferred product category with the market share growing from 53.1 percent in 2011 to 66.7 percent in 2016. In addition, tablets will also grow significantly with share growing from 7.7 percent in 2011 to 13.4 percent in 2016.

The shift in demand from the more expensive PC category to more reasonably priced smartphones and tablets would drive the collective market ASP from $534 in 2011 to $378 in 2016, said the report.