Galaxy S III, iPhone 5 Help Samsung, Apple Increase Smart-Device Lead

By Craig Galbraith Comments
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What's known as the global smart connected device market – smartphones, tablets and PCs combined – grew more than 27 percent year-over-year in the third quarter, according to International Data Corp.'s (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker.

Samsung, IDC said, hung on to the top spot among vendors, accounting for nearly 22 percent market share based on shipments. Apple was second, but led all vendors in value, with a total of $34.1 billion in 3Q12; it's average selling price was a whopping $744 across all categories.

Top 5 Smart Connected Device Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, Q3 2012 (shipments in millions)
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker, December 10, 2012.

"The battle between Samsung and Apple at the top of the smart connected device space is stronger than ever," said Ryan Reith, program manager, Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers at IDC. "Both vendors compete at the top of the tablet and smartphone markets; 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."

Although IDC didn't break shipments down by device, Apple's iPad, as well as its iPhone 5 – which launched 10 days before the end of the third quarter – and Samsung's Galaxy S III, the Korea-based manufacturer's top selling smartphone, certainly had major roles in the companies' success during the period.

Overall, the smart connected device market reached more than 303 million shipments, worth approximately $140 billion. IDC expects another record in the fourth quarter, with levels rising another 19 percent over 3Q12 and nearly 27 percent over the same quarter a year ago. Smartphones and tablets are forecast to be the biggest drivers, expected to grow almost 40 percent and 56 percent, respectively. IDC anticipates PC shipment will decline slightly from a year ago.

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