IDC: Tablets and smartphones fuel connected device growth

A review of the smart connected devices market across Europe from IDC indicates that the growth enjoyed last year is set to continue

The arrows are all pointing upwards for the smart connected market, which lumps in PCs with tablets and smartphones, with last year improving on 2012 across Europe with plenty of opportunities for that trend continuing despite the threat of a slowdown as the volumes reach saturation point.

The latest numbers from IDC indicate that last year saw growth of 9.7% up from 2012 and it expects it to continue with a 5.1% improvement over the course of the current year.

Tablets continue to drive the growth with shipments expected to climb by 17.6% in 2014 with 45m units selling in Western Europe last year. Smart phones also take up a considerable chunk of the action with growth of 4.2% expected in that area this year as new products and competitive pricing have an impact on the market.

The worries about a potential slowdown echo research from Context from earlier this week, which warned that some of the major European markets are now reaching maturity with the form factor.

The PC market overall declined in Q4 by 2.4%, but there were signs that commercial activity was up as enterprises refreshed machines and started to make some delayed investment in their desktop estates.

"The accelerated adoption of tablets is having a significant impact on the way consumers and businesses use and consider their computing devices. The frontiers between private and professional are blurring and new form factors are supporting increasing versatility, opening new usage scenarios and new growth opportunities for the industry," said Chrystelle Labesque, research manager, IDC EMEA personal computing.

In terms of vendor positions Samsung held on to top spot, followed by Apple, Sony, HP and Lenovo, which saw its year-on-year share in unit growth terms in the fourth quarter grow significantly more than its rivals.

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