The global connected device market, including PCs, tablets, and smartphones, grew 27.1 percent year-over-year in the third quarter of 2012, reaching a record 303.6 million shipments valued at $140.4 billion dollars.
Expectations for the holiday season quarter are that shipments will continue to reach record levels rising 19.2 percent over the third quarter and 26.5 percent over the same quarter a year ago, IDC estimates.
A rapidly-growing share of such sales will occur in "emerging" markets in the coming years.
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By perhaps 2017, more tablets will be sold in "emerging" countries than in "developed" or "mature" countries, according to NPD.
Also, there is significant awareness and appetite on the part of "emerging market" firms to use the latest collaborative and digital technologies. In fact, appetite for cloud computing, business intelligence, mobile services and devices, collaboration tools, social media and telepresence is significantly higher in emerging countries than in developed nations.
The IDC (News - Alert) forecast combines sales of PCs, tablets and smartphones, but even looking at the discrete components, the growth trend is obvious. Global smartphone shipments are expected to grow by 30.2 percent to 865 million units in 2012, accounting for about 43.9 percent of total cell phone shipments, boosted by strong demand from developing countries such as China and India.
In 2012, global smartphone shipments are expected to grow nearly 37 percent year-on-year to 664.6 million units, Digitimes Research has said.
IDC’s monitoring of appliance sales is part of its focus on what it calls the “Third Platform," including mobile computing, cloud services, social networking, and big data analytics technologies.
"From 2013 through 2020, these technologies will drive around 90 percent of all the growth in the IT market," said Frank Gens, IDC SVP and chief analyst, which can be heard here.
Among the other major IT categories, worldwide software spending is expected to grow six percent, followed by a four percent gain in services in 2013. The server and PC markets will grow slowly with a 1.8 percent for increase for server markets and 1.7 percent for PC markets.
On a regional basis, IT spending in emerging markets will grow by 8.8 percent in 2013 to more than $730 billion. While this figure represents 34 percent of all information technology spending worldwide, it also represents more than 50 percent of all new growth in the IT marketplace.
The BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) will continue to dominate IT spending among the emerging markets. The consequences for software and hardware suppliers should be significant, and perhaps troubling.
"We'll see these markets increasingly, not only generate growth, but influence worldwide design points, pricing, and market leadership," Gens said.
The bottom line is that retail pricing will be under pressure as products are adapted for emerging markets. And those prices will, in turn, be reflected in what is available in the developed markets as well.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman