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Smartphone and tablet shipments to spike, says IDC

Shipments of smart connected devices — including PCs, tablets, and smartphones — are expected to top 1.7 billion units by next year, with roughly 1 billion going to emerging markets, according to new data from IDC.

The research firm has forecast that within developing markets, more than 60 per cent of smart device shipments will be delivered to the so-called BRIC countries — Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Together, the BRIC countries are expected to generate shipments of 662 million units valued at more than $206 billion (£132 billion).

Meanwhile, more than 650 million units are forecast to be shipped to developed markets, IDC said. The UK, US and Japan are poised to capture more than 400 million units valued at $204 billion (£131 billion).

"With the BRIC countries expected to surpass the total shipments to developed markets by 2014, it is clear that demand for smart connected devices is quickly shifting from developed to emerging markets," IDC said in a statement. Shipments to emerging markets are expected to grow 17 per cent year over year between 2012 and 2017, compared to seven per cent in developed markets.

Going forward, growth in the smart device category will be driven by demand for smartphones and tablets in emerging and developed markets, IDC said. Smartphones and tablets will account for an overwhelming 1.4 billion of the 1.7 billion total units expected to ship next year. PC shipments, on the other hand, will only reach 300 million units.

As global smartphone and tablet shipments rise, the prices of these devices is going down, IDC said. The average selling price (ASP) of tablets dropped 19 per cent in 2012 to $426 (£273), down from $525 (£337) in 2011. Meanwhile, smartphone ASP fell 8.2 per cent to $407 (£261), down from $443 (£284).

"This pattern of decreasing price points is most prominent in emerging countries where IDC expects sub-$300 (£193) smartphones and sub-$350 (£225) tablets to drive huge shipments in 2014 and beyond," IDC said.

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