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Shipments of smartphones, tablets, and oh yes, PCs, to top 1.7B

The latest forecast from IDC for smart connected devices sees 1.7 billion shipping in 2014, with around 1 billion of those arriving in emerging markets.


The world will see combined shipments of PCs, tablets, and smartphones rise past 1.7 billion next year. And more of those will be headed toward developing markets, research firm IDC said today.

Out of that 1.7 billion figure, 1 billion devices will end up in emerging markets. China, India, Brazil, and Russia will grab around 662 million devices, for a value of more than $206 billion. Developed markets will see around 650 million units shipped, with more than 400 million devices valued collectively at $204 billion arriving in the U.S., the U.K., and Japan.

Tablets and smartphones will drive the lion's share of the growth. Of the 1.7 billion devices forecast to ship next year, more than 1.4 billion will be smartphones and tablets, worth around $500 billion, according to IDC. PCs will continue to face challenges, with only 300 million shipments, valued at less than $200 billion.

"It is evident that smartphones and tablets have successfully established a strong presence as the 'second screen,' owing to the transformation in usage patterns, device affordability, and, most of all, the comfort of a mobile and digital lifestyle," IDC analyst Megha Saini said in a statement.

As tablet and smartphone shipments rises, the average selling price drops. Tablet prices on average fell around 19 percent to $426 last year compared with $525 in 2011. The average sellling price for smartphones declined by 8.2 percent to $407 last year from $443 the prior year.

Tablets and smartphones can command higher prices in developed markets, but not so in emerging markets. In emerging countries, tablets under $350 and smartphones under $300 are expected to fuel the large shipments forecast for 2014 and beyond, IDC added.