IDC recently reported 3rd quarter mobile device numbers for the 3rd quarter of 2012. They found that the “collective (view) of PCs, tablets, and smartphones” shipped 303.6 million shipments worth $140.4 billion dollars for the three months ending in September.

Samsung, the new giant in the smartphone arena, led the market with 21.8% of all shipments, followed by Apple with 15.1%. The overall market grew by 27.1% year over year, but the action was almost entirely in mobile devices – smartphones and tablets, not desktops and laptops, which were flat.

Shipments in the 4th quarter are projected to reach $169 billion based on holiday shopping and agin, with tablets and smartphones leading the way as gifts.

Samsung grew an amazing 97.5% year on year, while Apple grew a modest 15%.  However, where Samsung was #1 in shipments, Apple was #1 in cash.

Apple had a $744 average selling price for each device sold, while Samsung had a $434 ASP.  So Apple made a whole bunch more money despite being outsold by 20 million fewer shipments in the quarter.

Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers Program Manager Ryan Reith noted that;

“The battle between Samsung and Apple at the top of the smart connected device space is stronger than ever. Both vendors compete at the top of the tablet and smartphone markets. However, the difference in their collective ASPs is a telling sign of different market approaches. The fact that Apple’s ASP is $310 higher than Samsung’s with just over 20 million fewer shipments in the quarter speaks volumes about the premium product line that Apple sells.”


Chart: Worldwide Smart Connected Devices Market Forecast Unit Shipments (Millions), 3Q 2012Description: The data in this chart comes from the following IDC Trackers: WW Quarterly PC Tracker, WW Quarterly Tablet Tracker, and WW Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. PC data includes Desktop PCs and Portable PCs. Tablet data does not include eReaders. Mobile Phone Data does not include Feature Phones. For further information contact Kathy Nagamine at [email protected]: Smart, Connected, Devices, Q3, 2012, 3Q, PC, Tablet, Smartphone, IDC, Apple, Samsung, Galaxy, Nexus, Mobile, Phone, notebook, tracker,phone, market, size, share, forecast, predict, shipment, laptopAuthor: IDCcharts powered by iCharts


IDC sees desktops continuing to lose ground in the future as mobile devices and the market for them expand. IDC’s Program Vice President of Clients and Displays Bob O’Donnell adds;

“Both consumers and business workers are finding the need for multiple ‘smart’ devices and we expect that trend to grow for several years, especially in more developed regions. The advent of cloud-based services is enabling people to seamlessly move from device to device, which encourages the purchase and usage of different devices for different situations.”

The Smartphone Market
Apple and Samsung were responsible for almost half of all worldwide smartphone purchases, according to another survey by Gartner.


Nokia sales declined during the quarter to only 7.2 million smartphones. Its ranking in this segment plummeted from third to seventh. However, new Lumia smartphones are expected to improve the picture in the fourth quarter.

Apple racked up 36.2 percent year-on-year increase in sales, which is expected to continue into the fourth quarter as the iPhone 5 launches in more markets.

Samsung increased its sales by 18.6 percent year-on-year due to its Galaxy range (although it’s important to note this figure is for total phone sales, not just smartphones).

Overall, Android dominated all before it, growing its share of the market to 72.4 percent, with iOS coming a distant second with 13.9 percent.

Stalwart RIM managed to hold on to the #3 spot with the BlackBerry OS, while Symbian is pretty much dead.  Microsoft saw Windows Phone 7 and 8 rise slightly year on year to 2.4%.  All hopes now are on the Lumia 920 catching fire over Christmas.

What do you think the Lumia’s chances are, given the stiff competition posed by iPhone 5 and the Galaxy S3?

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