Apple closes gap on Samsung in smart connected devices

Apple is starting to catch up to Samsung Electronics when it comes to smart connected devices, or total sales of desktop PCs, laptops, smartphones and tablets.

An iPad being used as a sign in an Apple store.
(Credit: Josh Lowensohn/CNET)

That's according to IDC, which pegged leader Samsung at 21.2 per cent of the market for smart connected devices as of the end of 2012, with Apple just behind it, at 20.3 per cent.

Given the premium price on its products, Apple already dominates Samsung from a revenue perspective. Apple captured 30.7 per cent of the industry's total revenue, to Samsung's 20.4 per cent share.

The smart connected devices industry grew by nearly 30 per cent in 2012, driven by a 78.4 per cent jump in tablet sales. Total shipments of tablets surpassed 128 million units last year. IDC has high hopes for the tablet business; it's supposed to surpass sales of desktop PCs this year, and laptops in 2014. Where desktops are expected to drop 4.3 per cent and laptops fall slightly less, tablets are expected to grow by 48.7 per cent. The smartphone business, which is starting to see slowing growth, will grow by 27.2 per cent this year.

It's in emerging markets where a majority of the growth is taking place. The total market grew 41.3 per cent last year, driven by 111.3 per cent growth in tablets. The more mature markets saw slower growth thanks to a drop in sales of desktop PCs, a trend expected to continue this year.

"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," said Megha Saini, an analyst at IDC.

IDC lays out its estimates for changes in the market for smart connected devices in terms of shipments and market share (units in millions)
(Credit: IDC)


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