Research firm IDC is predicting that the number of globally shipped units of smart-connected devices (PCs, tablets and smartphones) will exceed 1.7 billion in 2014. Of that figure, about 1 billion will be shipped to emerging markets
. Breaking that down even more, shipments to China, India, Brazil, and Russia are expected to reach 662 million units with a monetary value of $206 billion. Developed markets should account for 650 million units shipped next year. The U.S., U.K. and Japan alone will be responsible for 400 million shipped smart-connected devices in 2014, with a dollar value of $204 billion.
Demand for smart-connected devices is expected to surge in emerging markets. Compounded annual growth in that region is estimated to reach 17% in the 2012-2017 time period compared with 7% in developed markets. Additionally, smart-connected device growth is expected to be led by demand for tablets
. The pair will be responsible for 1.4 billion of the 1.7 billion smart-connected devices to be shipped in 2014, according to IDC, with a dollar value of $500 billion. The slumping PC market is estimated to ship just a bit more than 300 million units next year, worth under $200 billion.
With shipments up, prices are coming down. The average selling price (ASP) of a tablet fell 19% in 2012 to $426 from $525 in 2011. The ASP of a smartphone dropped from 2011's $443 to $407 in 2012. In emerging markets, IDC sees smartphones priced under $300 on average next year and tablets weighing in under $350. In developing markets, the ASP for the two devices is forecast to be $490 for smartphones and $370 for tablets.
"Smartphone and tablet prices are now less prohibitive to first-time buyers in emerging markets. Although the double-digit growth of smartphones and tablets in emerging countries is a mouthwatering prospect, the low selling price also means that vendors will face huge struggles to meet the demands profitably. Given the competitive price points for cheaper smartphones and tablets, this price war is a race to the bottom and it's not at all clear that this low-end market offers sustainable profits to smartphone and tablet vendors."-Bob O'Donnell, program vice president, clients and displays, IDC