Samsung and Apple almost equal in total number of smart connected devices sold in Q4 2012

March 26, 2013
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The Apple – Samsung war shows no real signs of slowing down. The two manufacturers are almost equal in terms of unit shipment share in Q4 2012, according to IDC’s Smart Connected Device Tracker.

In Q4, Apple has gained market share, getting to 20.3% unit shipment share (it was at 15.1% in Q3,) while Samsung reached 21.2% (very close to the 21.8% it had in Q3). In terms of revenue basis, Apple is leading, with 30.7% compared to Samsung’s 20.4%.

The two companies continue their domination of the global connected device market and they both have quite a few strengths working for them.

Samsung is expected to grow, considering its recent Galaxy S4 launch, which should give it a boost (and, believe it or not, the smartphone has already been cloned). The company has a large number of products on the market, both in the smartphone and tablet areas, and is an important player in the growth of Android tablet sales.

Apple, on the other hand, has always had a strong following of very faithful users, very distinctive products and can always bounce back, like it did with the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini (IDC says the recent success is owed to this combination). Near future results depend, though, on the way the company will follow up on these products.

Getting back to the Smart Device Tracker, it must be said that it measures total market size for combined shipments of personal computers including notebooks and desktops, smartphones and tablets and can be a pretty interesting indicator of the way things stand on a general level.

One interesting prediction says that tablet shipments will surpass desktop PC shipments this year and portable PCs next year (see image below). Furthermore, the tablet market is expected to get to a new high, no less than 190 million units, or up 48.7%, as part of its ongoing growth in the next few years.

idc smart connected devices forecast q4 2012

Another interesting prediction is the one pertaining to smartphones. IDC says that the smartphone market’s growth will be 27.2%, reaching 918.5 million units. IDC had already predicted that smartphones will outsell feature phones this year, which sounded pretty obvious to me.

What do you think of these figures? Who do you think will win the war?

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