tablet researchSecond quarter shipments for “smart” connected devices, including PCs, smartphones and tablets—reached 267.3 million units worldwide—27.4% higher than 2011’s 2Q total and 2.8% higher than that for 1Q this year, according to the latest report from IDC. Revenue from shipments for the second quarter totaled $131.5 billion worldwide—a 16.3% year-over-year (YoY) gain but a 2.7% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) decline.

Uptake of PCs and smart connected devices as a whole is facing headwinds in the US, however — with shipments and revenue declining on a year-over-year and quarterly basis in 2Q, according to IDC’s latest “Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker”.U.S. smart connected device unit shipments dropped 7.8% sequentially and 5% annually in 2Q to just under 47.4 million. Combined revenue declined to $24.8 billion—a 10.3% sequential and 8.6% annual drop.

“The incredibly fast ramp for tablets and smartphones in the U.S. has clearly started to slow as overall macroeconomic conditions and a degree of saturation have begun to impact the market,” IDC commented.

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Looking ahead for the full year and 2013, IDC forecasts worldwide total smart connected device unit shipments will reach nearly 1.2 billion in 2012, which would be a 27.4% YoY increase, growing to 1.4 billion in 2013—an additional projected 19.2% YoY rise.xxx

Gazing further out, IDC analysts forecast 14% compound annual growth for smart connected devices over the five year-period from 2012-2016, with combined unit shipments totaling more than 2 billion in 2016.

Regionally, Asia-Pacific smart connected device shipments will total well over 860 million units by 2016, widening the gap between it and other regions. Growth will also continue in the Americas, with total unit shipments forecast to reach more than 600 million by 2016—a 12.6% CAGR. Smartphones will make up the bulk of expected volume, growing at a CAGR of more than 22% over the five-year period.

Tablet shipments are expected to grow fastest, increasing from around 10% of smart connected device shipments xxx to 13% by 2016. PCs’ share will drop from 31% in 2012 to 24%.

While Asia-Pacific leads in total PC and smartphone shipments, tablet shipments have been concentrated in more mature markets, IDC notes. EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) is forecast to gain share in tablets out to 2016. Tablet shipments will also increase in the Americas and Asia-Pacific, though the regional totals will account for a smaller share of the total shipped worldwide.

“The recent shipment data clearly demonstrates that we have fully entered into the multi-device era, where individuals are buying and using multiple devices per person, most often with different combinations of operating systems,” elaborated Bob O’Donnell, program vice president for Clients and Displays. “The implications of this development on application developers, device makers, Web service providers, businesses, and even individuals is profound.”

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