IT Trends | Research

1.1 Billion Smart Connected Devices To Ship This Year

More than 916 million smart connected devices--including PCs, smart phones, tablets, and other similar devices--shipped worldwide last year. And, according to a new report, that number could double in the next five years. Expenditures on these devices exceeded $489 billion.

IDC compiled the data via its Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet Tracker, Mobile Phone Tracker, and PC Tracker. Extrapolating from current data, IDC predicted that, this year, shipments of smart units will surpass 1.1 billion and that, by 2016, more than 1.84 billion devices will ship--doubling the 2011 number and showing a 15.4 percent compound annual growth rate over the next five years.

IDC also made a series of predictions about which platforms would gain--and lose--market share over the next five years.

  • Android: 29.4 percent in 2011 to 31.1 percent in 2016;
  • iOS: 14.6 percent in 2011 to 17.3 percent in 2016; and
  • Windows: 35.9 percent in 2011 down to 25.1 percent in 2016.

"Android's growth is tied directly to the propagation of lower-priced devices," said Tom Mainelli, IDC research director, mobile connected devices, in a prepared statement. "So, while we expect dozens of hardware vendors to own some share in the Android market, many will find profitability difficult to sustain. Similarly, we expect a large percentage of application developers to continue to focus their efforts on iOS, despite the platform's smaller overall market share, because iOS end users have proven more willing to pay for high-quality apps."

You can read more information on IDC's Tracker Web page.

About the Author

Caitlin Moriarity is a freelance technology writer based in St. Louis, MO. She can be reached at

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