Smartphone, tablet shipments to hit 1.7 billion mark in 2014: IDC

Smartphone, tablet shipments to hit 1.7 billion mark in 2014: IDC

Summary: And BRIC nations — including Brazil, Russia, India, and China — are expected to take 60 percent slice of the shipment pie, according to research.

TOPICS: Smartphones, Tablets

Global shipments of smart connected device shipments — such as PCs, tablets and smartphones — are expected to hit the 1.7 billion mark by 2014, according to IDC's latest research report.

The interesting nugget in the report states that 60 percent of these devices — about 1 billion units — won't be shipped to the usual markets, such as the U.S. and Western Europe. Instead, the four major emerging markets will be taking more than half of all smart connected device shipments next year.

An estimated 662 million units of the total 1.7 billion figure will ship to BRIC nations, typically Brazil, Russia, India, and China, which hold a collective shipment value of more than $206 billion.

By comparison, the U.S., U.K. and Japan will capture around 400 million units for about the same shipment value, $204 billion specifically. You can probably see the disparity right there.

(Image: IDC)

Smartphones and tablets are expected to make up the vast majority of smart connected devices, partially due to the downturn in the PC market over the past few quarters.

There are a couple of highlights from the IDC report.

There's an increasing shift in smart connected device shipments away from emerging markets to developed markets. It's hardly a surprise seeing as these developing markets still have a low penetration rate. Companies are, however, waking up and shifting their attention to these countries as an untapped goldmine of revenue.

Also, the average selling price (ASP) for smartphones and tablets has decreased over the past year. Tablets are down 19 percent and smartphones fell by more than 8 percent. The pattern in decreasing prices is clear in emerging economy nations where sub-$300 smartphones and sub-$250 tablets are expected to drive shipments in 2014 and onwards.

It's worth noting that the markup in the Western markets is far higher, achieving fewer shipments than the developing nations but for about the same market value. It makes sense. Westerners pay more. 

Topics: Smartphones, Tablets

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  • Smartphone, tablet shipments to hit 1.7 billion mark in 2014: IDC

    The tablet fad is finally passing. They had to group it in with smart phones to make the numbers look good.
    • They are really portable PCs....

      ...aren't they?
    • You should go and look again with more attention

      Tablet numbers do look very good. Numbers are getting bigger at an amazing speed.
  • Stage one of the personal computer revolution was the desktop PC

    Followed by the notebook (or laptop) PC which pretty much represents the same paradigm.

    For many in the world today (e.g., BRIC countries and elsewhere), their first PC will be a low cost Android tablet. This is stage two of the personal computer revolution and will reach many that do not have access to either a desktop or notebook PC.

    The tablet market reminds me greatly of the calculator market in the 1970s.

    P.S. Apple with the iPad, iPad Mini and the iPod Touch will find itself in the premium market and will continue to be profitable because many people, even if not the majority, enjoy owning and using premium products.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • Premium

      "P.S. Apple with the iPad, iPad Mini and the iPod Touch will find itself in the premium market and will continue to be profitable because many people, even if not the majority, enjoy owning and using premium products."

      Top level Android smart phones already more premium than iPhone. Cheap and premium products can co-exist using the same operating system.
      • Oden79: "Top level Android smart phones already more premium than iPhone"

        I neither stated nor implied that there were no premium Android smartphones on the market. I merely stated that iOS-based devices will be squarely in the premium category and I expect this to remain true when Apple finally gets around to releasing the iPhone Mini. Apple will not enjoin Android's race to the bottom.

        And make no mistake, the majority of Android devices sold in the BRIC and other developing economies countries will be low cost Android devices.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Inevitable

    Consider this -
    -There are just over 7 billion people on this planet.
    -There are 6 billion active mobile subscribers (prepaid and postpaid), the vast majority of whom live in developing countries.
    -There are around 2 billion PC users.
    -And finally, more than 70% of the global population actually lives in developing countries.

    When you've got that much of a disparity between the population size of the West and that of the rest of the world, none of this should come as a surprise. Once a product category becomes affordable to most of that 70% who lives in lesser developed countries, the global market share pie will be permanently redrawn and the developing market eventually becomes the primarily consumer of that product and the primary provider of market share gains while the West remains the primary consumer of the premium versions of the product but becomes an increasingly less significant factor in global market share shifts.

    We're already seeing the signs. We're seeing 1 in 3 iPhone users is a US resident while the US itself only makes up between 4-5% of the global population - in other words, a third of iPhone's current market share is coming from a market that barely has 5% of the global population. We haven't begun to see anything near the full involvement of the developing world in the smartphone market and yet we're seeing Apple's market share numbers already beginning to erode in some places, leading to a slip in its global figure over a period of mere months. Imagine what's going to happen to Apple's global market share figures once just the first billion people from that 70% who live completely outside the premium-price space buys one of these much more affordable devices. Not even the rumored 'lower-cost' iPhone mini is going to be enough to help Apple's future market share outlook. Any device that Apple makes will be burdened by its desire for unnecessarily high profit margins and the absence of cannibalization - things that competition in the developing world don't ever worry about. To achieve such goals, the rumored iPhone mini will contain some seriously outdated hardware and have limited NAND flash storage capacity. And there are the virtually insurmountable local factors that only the folks like myself who have actually spent time in developing countries would appreciate. For instance, how do you grow your market share in the developing world by selling a lower-cost iPhone to the masses if your particular brand of device is being serviced by carriers with unique costly "iPhone data plans" that the vast majority of locals can't afford?

    Blackberry, Windows phone and Nokia will have their work cut out for them. Nokia is pretty much a dead brand among young people in most developing markets, but in a few years Microsoft might be able to get some of the older mobile users who are more familiar with Nokia as a feature phone brand. Unfortunately for them, that won't be the segment of the market that offers the best phone turnover rate. In the developing world, it's actually the scores of young people that drive turnover in the mobile gadget markets there.