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Smart connected devices shipments to exceed 1 billion by 2014, says IDC

Global shipments of smart connected devices, such as PCs, tablets and smartphones, are expected to surpass 1.7 billion units by 2014 with roughly 1 billion units delivered to emerging markets.

The forecast, part of International Data Corp.’s “Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker,” also projects that 662 million units, valued at more than $206 billion, will be shipped in Brazil, China, India and Russia (the BRIC countries), while more than 650 million units, valued at $204 billion, will be shipped to developed markets, including the United States, the U.K. and Japan.

Emerging countries, which include the BRIC nations, will see growth of connected device shipments of a 17 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the 2012-2017 forecast period. That compares to the 7 percent CAGR expected in developed markets.

Smart connected device market growth will largely be driven by increased demand for smartphones and tablets in both emerging and developed markets. Of the 1.7 billion units forecast to be shipped in 2014, more than 1.4 billion are expected to be smartphones and tablets, representing more than $500 billion in value. PCs, on the other hand, will account for just more than 300 million units shipped and a shipment value of 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," saidMegha Saini, Research Analyst with IDC'sWorldwide Smart Connected Device Tracker.

With the rise in global smartphone and tablet shipments, the average selling price (ASP) of these mobile computing devices is steadily decreasing. Tablet ASPs fell 19 percent year over year in 2012 to $426, down from $525 in 2011. Smartphone ASPs fell 8.2 percent year over year to $407 in 2012, down from $443 in 2011.

This pattern of decreasing price points is most prominent in emerging countries where IDC expects sub-$300 smartphones and sub-$350 tablets to drive huge shipments in 2014 and beyond. In developed markets, smartphones and tablets will continue to generate higher ASPs of $490 and $370, respectively, in 2014, according to IDC.