IT spending on smartphones beats spending on PCs for first time

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Last year, IT spending on smartphones exceeded spending on PCs for the first time, according to the latest stats from IDC.

Worldwide spending on smartphones reached $300 billion, while spending on PCs dropped 2 percent to $233 billion, according to the research group.

One big reason for this is smartphones and tablets are taking revenues away from feature phones and PCs, said Stephen Minton, vice president of IDC's global technology and industry research organization.

"Cannibalization is happening across the industry. Smartphones have taken over from feature phones, tablet adoption is impacting PC spending, and the cloud is affecting the traditional software, services and infrastructure markets," Minton said.

Overall, worldwide IT spending recorded an annual growth of 5.9 percent in 2012, keeping pace with the 5.8 percent growth recorded in 2011. Going forward, IDC expects the economy of the United States to stabilize in the second half of the year, driving IT spending growth up 5.5 percent.

However, 2013 will be another tough year for Europe. Excluding mobile devices, growth in Europe will be less than one percent.

"Weakness in Europe, as governments continue to impose austerity measures with a direct and indirect impact on IT spending, has also damaged the export-dependent Japanese economy. The U.S. should perform better, as long as politicians continue to reach 11th-hour deals to avert an economic crisis, and the PC market in the U.S. will at least stabilize after two successive years of major declines," Minton said.

The explosion of smartphones sales is also no doubt being fueled by the BYOD trend, as more employees use their personal smartphones rather than their company-supplied PCs to do their work on the move.

For more:
- see the IDC stats

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