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Samsung tops Apple in connected device sales in '12

IDC also reports that the total market for smartphones, tablets, and PCs climbed 29 percent last year.

Shara Tibken Former managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
Shara Tibken
2 min read
The BlackBerry Z10, Samsung Galaxy S3, and iPhone 5. Josh Miller/CNET
Samsung surpassed Apple in the market for smart connected devices last year as the Korean electronics giant's shipments of smartphones, tablets, and PCs more than doubled, a new report says.

IDC today noted that Samsung shipped 250 million "smart connected devices" in 2012, up from 114 million the previous year. The tech research firm lumps desktop computers, portable PCs, tablets, and smartphones into that segment. By comparison, Apple shipped 218.7 million devices, up 44 percent from 2011 when it held the No. 1 spot. It had 18 percent share in 2012.

Samsung's sales surge largely came from its boost in smartphones, IDC noted, and it also shipped more portable PCs than Apple last year. But Apple still led the market in terms of tablet shipments and came in eighth in portable PC shipments. It was fifth overall for desktop PC shipments.

Lenovo, meanwhile, was the No. 3 connected device vendor with 6.5 percent share. Its strong point remains portable PCs, but it's also growing in smartphones. IDC noted Lenovo's phone shipments grew to 23.7 million in 2012 from 3.7 million in 2011.

Samsung shipped the most connected devices in 2012, just topping Apple. IDC
Hewlett-Packard and Dell rounded out the top five, though both saw their shipments fall because of their absences in smartphones and tablets.

Unsurprisingly, smartphones and tablets made up the bulk of the 367.7 million smart connected device sales in 2012, IDC said. Desktop and portable PC shipments both declined about 4 percent, but tablet shipments soared 78 percent from 2011 and smartphones grew 46 percent. More than half (60 percent) of all shipped smart connected devices were smartphones, IDC said.