Smartphones will continue to lead the charge in sales of computing devices, with tablets + hybrid laptops a distant second.
Research firm IDC projects that shipments of smart connected devices (anything from smartphones to desktops) will increase by 15.6% this year and reach almost 1.8 billion units. Sales should continue growing year over year and reach 2.4 billion units in 2018.
But most of this growth is due to just one category: smartphones. By 2018, for every PC shipped, no less than 6 smartphones will be sold.
"The PC will be the new accessory to mobile as smartphones become the first and primary computing device for many," says Jitesh Ubrani, Research Analyst at IDC.
(More stats about the tablet market at TabTimes.com/stats-research)
While mature markets like the US and Western Europe are slowing to single-digit growth rates, China, India, Brazil and other emerging countries will see double digit growth sales of low-cost Android phones.
The high end of the smartphone market - where Apple shines - will experience much slower growth. “Devices that cost more than $500 are forecast to shrink from 33% of total device shipments (in 2013) to 21.1% (in 2018)," says Tom Mainelli, Program Vice President at IDC.
While smartphone sales growth is not a surprise, the projections for the hybrid tablet/laptop market may disappoint manufacturers. As the chart below shows, the market share of tablets and hybrid laptops, grouped in one category (in yellow), will remain stable. (You may click on any category to hide it from the chart.)
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