Vendors shipped 367.7 million “Smart Connected Devices” – desktop and portable PCs, tablets and smartphones – in 4Q 2012, a 28.3% year-to-year rise. Higher tablet and smartphone shipments fueled the gain, more than making up for declines in desktop and portable PC shipments, according to IDC’s latest “Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker” report.

Smart Connected Device shipments totaled just over 1.2 billion for 2012 as a whole. Growing at the fastest pace were tablet shipments, which surged 78.4% higher year-to-year in 2012. Smartphone shipments rose second fastest at 46.1%. In contrast, desktop and portable PC shipments declined 4.1% and 3.4%, respectively, according to IDC. Smartphone unit shipments totaled 722.4 million for the year; tablet shipments totaled 128.3 million; portable PC shipments totaled 202 million; and desktop PC shipments totaled 148.4 million.

Samsung took over the top spot among Smart Connected Device manufacturers, pushing past Apple by shipping 250 million PCs, tablets and smartphones last year, up 119.3% from 2011 for a 2012 global market share of 20.8%. A surge in Samsung’s smartphone sales was the primary driver, according to IDC.

Apple shipped a total 218.7 million Smart Connected devices in 2012 for an 18.2% market share, up from 151.5 million units shipped and a market share of 16.3% in 2011. Apple shipped the most tablets, ranked fifth in desktop PC shipments and eighth in portable PC shipments, according to IDC.

Lenovo, HP and Dell ranked 3rd, 4th and 5th in Smart Connected Device shipments in 2012, according to IDC, ending the year with market shares of 5.8%, 5.3% and 3.2%, respectively.

“Smartphones and tablets are growing at a pace that PCs and tablets can’t realistically keep up with because of device prices and to some extent disposability,” Ryan Reith, IDC program manager for Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, elaborated.

“The average selling price (ASP) for a tablet declined 15.0% in 2012 to $461, and we expect that trend to continue in 2013. However, smartphone ASPs are still lower at $408. We expect smartphones to continue to carry a shorter life cycle than PCs for the years to come based on price, use case, and overall device size.”