IDC: Samsung passes Apple in smart connected device race

iPhone 5, iPad Mini sales help Apple maintain close second
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Samsung raced past Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) to take the pole position in the 2012 smart connected device market, which includes PCs, smartphones and tablets, according to the latest stats from IDC.

Fueled by smartphone sales, Samsung shipped 250 million smart connected devices in 2012, an impressive 119.3 percent year-over-year increase, to take 20 percent of the market.

In second place, Apple shipped 218.7 million smart connected devices to take 18.2 percent of the market, primarily due to the strength of iPhone and iPad Mini sales.

"After falling well behind Samsung early in 2012, Apple came roaring back in final quarter of the year thanks to its latest hits--the iPhone 5 and the iPad Mini--and reduced the market share gap to less than a single percentage point. The question moving forward will be whether or not Apple can maintain its hit parade against the juggernaut of Samsung," observed Bob O'Donnell, IDC's program vice president for clients and displays.

Lenovo came in a distant third, shipping 78.3 million smart connected devices in 2012, or 6.5 percent of the market, HP (NYSE: HPQ) came in fourth, and Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) rounded out the top five with 38.8 million units shipped, or a 3.2 percent market share.

Overall, just over 1.2 billion smart connected devices were shipped in 2012, a 29.1 percent year-over-year increase. Tablets were the fastest growing segment, posting a 78.4 percent year-over-year increase in 2012.

"Smartphones and tablets are growing at a pace that PCs can't realistically keep up with because of device prices and to some extent disposability ... However, smartphone APSs are still lower at $408. We expect smartphones to continue to carry a shorter life cycle than PCs for the years to come based on price, use case, and overall device size," said Ryan Reith, program manager for worldwide mobile device trackers at IDC.

For more:
- see IDC's stats

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