1 billion computing devices shipped last year, analysts estimate

Last year, the world added one new internet-accessible computer for every seven people on the planet.

The number of "smart connected devices" shipped globally -- including PCs, laptops and smartphones -- surpassed the one-billion mark in 2012. Four years from now, more than 2 billion computing devices will be shipped annually. That's about one new internet-accessible computer for every three to four people on the planet.

Photo credit: Microsoft Press Relations

That's the call from IDC in their latest estimates of the global computing marketplace. Interestingly, the analyst firm's report lumps PCs and smartphones into the same category -- essentially as parts of "a single continuum of connected devices, separated primarily by screen size."

Nevertheless, the analyst firm sees tablets and smartphones gaining on traditional PCs. IDC says it expects that tablet shipments will surpass desktop PCs sometime this year, and laptops sometime next year. In 2013, worldwide desktop PC shipments are expected to drop by 4.3% and portable PCs to maintain a flat growth of 0.9%, the consultancy says.

The tablet market, on the other hand, is expected to reach a new high of 190 million shipment units with year-on-year growth of 48.7% while the smartphone market is expected to grow 27.2% to 918.5 million units.

Smart Connected Device Market by Product Category, Shipments, Market Share, 2012-1016

(units in millions)

Product Category

2012 Unit Shipments

2012 Market Share

2017 Unit Shipments*

2017 Market Share*

2012—2017 Growth*

Desktop PC

148.4

12.4%

141.0

6.0%

-5.0%

Portable PC

202.0

16.8%

240.9

11.0%

19.3%

Tablet

128.3

10.7%

352.3

16%

174.5%

Smartphone

722.4

60.1%

1,516

67%

109.9%

Total

1,201.1

100.0%

2,250.3

100.0%

87.3%

(Source: IDC's Worldwide Smart Connected Device Tracker Forecast Data, February 28, 2013.)

* Forecast estimates.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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