US-based research firm IDC announced on Monday in its third quarter results that Samsung had sold over 66.1 million smart devices,outpacing Apple’s 45.8 million.
Apple’s average selling price (ASP) for its entire products during the third quarter is $310 more than Samsung's, meaning the latter shipped some 20 million more devices.
Samsung had 21.8 percent of its smart connected devices shipped during the period compared to Apple’s 15.1 percent. Samsung grew by 97 percent over the third quarter of 2011 and Apple by 38 percent.
"The battle between Samsung and Apple at the top of the smart connected device space is stronger than ever," said Ryan Reith, program manager, Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers at IDC. "Both vendors compete at the top of the tablet and smartphone markets. However, the difference in their collective ASPs is a telling sign of different market approaches. The fact that Apple's ASP is $310 higher than Samsung's with just over 20 million fewer shipments in the quarter speaks volumes about the premium product line that Apple sells."
The total shipments for all the computer vendors during the third quarter were 303.6 million, IDC said. Aside from the two techno-juggernauts, other major vendors each had less than 7 percent of the market for all the “smart connected devices” with Lenovo third at 7 percent, HP at 4.6 percent and Sony at 3.6 percent.
IDC predicts that all smart devices shipped this year will total close to 1.2 billion, further projecting that smartphones will comprise 60.1 percent of all smart devices shipped in 2012, followed by 17.2 percent for laptops, desktop PCs at 12.5 percent and tablets at 10.2 percent.
By 2016, the second most popular devices will shift from smartphones to tablets, as well as ahead of laptops and desktops, accounting for 66.7 percent of all the smart devices shipped, IDC said.
"Both consumers and business workers are finding the need for multiple 'smart' devices and we expect that trend to grow for several years, especially in more developed regions," said Bob O'Donnell, program vice president, Clients and Displays. "The advent of cloud-based services is enabling people to seamlessly move from device to device, which encourages the purchase and usage of different devices for different situations."
IDC figures shows growth in all product categories between 2012 and 2016 with tablets the largest amount (131.2 percent) from the lowest base. Two-thirds of smart device sales will be smartphones, with 1.4 billion units shipped during the year. Desktop PCs will grow by 1.2 percent (in units).
"Looking forward, IDC expects the worldwide smart connected device space will continue to surge well past the strong holiday quarter and predicts shipments to surpass 2.1 billion units in 2016 with a market value of US$796.7 billion worldwide," IDC said.