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

And BRIC nations — including Brazil, Russia, India, and China — are expected to take 60 percent slice of the shipment pie, according to research.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor on

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. 

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