Here’s some not-so-surprising news: Lots of people are buying smartphones, tablets and PCs made by Samsung and Apple. A recent study from the IDC tallied the number of “smart connected devices” – or, smartphones, tablets, desktop PCs and laptops combined – sold in the past year, and found that Samsung was the number one vendor of all connected devices in 2012. The Galaxy S III makers pulled just ahead of Apple, who led in 2011 but finished in a close second this year.
Officially, Samsung pulled in 20.8 percent of the connected device market in 2012. The Korean company sold about 250 million smartphone, tablet and PC units for the year, which was good for a 119.3% year-over-year growth. Apple, meanwhile, sold 218.3 million total units, which equated to a 18.2% market share and a 44.3% year-over-year growth.
That put the two tech giants well ahead of their competitors, as third-place Lenovo finished with a 6.5 percent market share, fourth-place HP had 4.8 percent, and fifth-place (and recently private) Dell wound up with 3.2 percent.
The IDC says that Samsung bested its longtime rival in the smartphone and laptop shipments, but that Apple rode the success of its iPad and iPad mini lines to continue leading in overall tablets sold. Apple trailed Samsung by a few percentage points of total market share throughout the course of the year, but managed to pull to within one percentage point in the fourth quarter of 2012 off the strength of the iPad Mini and the iPhone 5.
Overall, more than 1.2 billion total smart connected devices were sold during the year. Not surprisingly, that number was primarily bolstered by smartphones, which had a 60.1 percent market share amongst all connected devices and increased 46.1 percent year-over-year to sell 722.4 million units total. Tablets shipments also saw significant gains, as slates jumped up 78.4 percent over last year and sold 128.3 million units.
That figure kept tablets as the least popular of the four product segments for the year, but their growth still appeared to come at the expense of desktop PCs and laptops. The IDC reports that desktop sales were down 4.1 percent from last year, with 148.4 million units sold, while laptops shrank 3.4 percent year-over-year, with 202 million units sold. The times, they are a-changin\’, indeed.