Smartphones continue to rule the global roost

The world’s love for connected devices, especially smartphones, is expected to keep on growing over the next five years – but the desktop PC will continue to lose favour.

This is according to projections from the International Data Corporation (IDC), looking at the worldwide smart connected device (SCD) growth from 2014 to 2019.

The IDC’s data shows that the combined total market of smartphones, tablets plus 2-in-1s, and PCs is set to grow from 1.8 billion units in 2014 to 2.5 billion units in 2019.
During that time, smartphones will grow to represent the overwhelming majority of total smart connected device (SCD) shipments, dwarfing both tablets and PCs in terms of shipment volumes.

As recently as 2010, PCs still made up the lion’s share of the total SCD device market, with the combined desktop and notebook categories accounting for about 52.5% of shipments versus 44.7% for smartphones and 2.8% for tablets.

By 2014, however, smartphones had grown to represent 73.4% of total shipment, while PCs had slipped to 16.8% and tablets had increased to 12.5%.

By 2019, IDC expects the distribution to be 77.8% smartphones, 11.6% PCs, and 10.7% tablets.

Worldwide Smart Connected Device Forecast Shipments, Market Share, Growth, and 5-Year CAGR (units in millions)

Category 2014 Shipments 2014 Market share 2014 YoY growth 2019 Shipments 2019 Market share 2019 YoY growth 5-Year CAGR
Smartphones 1,300.42 70.7% 27.7% 1,959.1 77.7% 4.6% 8.5%
Tablets 229.7 12.5% 4.5% 269.4 10.7% 2.6% 3.2%
Portable PC 174.28 9.5% -2.3% 170.4 6.8% -0.3% -0.4%
Desktop PC 133.85 7.3% -2.1% 121.0 4.8% -1.0% -2.0%
Total 1,838.26 100% 18.3% 2,520.0 100% 3.8% 6.5%

“Smartphone growth continues at an astounding pace, while growth in the PC and tablet markets is proving to be more challenging,” said Tom Mainelli, Program Vice President for Devices at IDC.

“for more people in more places, the smartphone is the clear choice in terms of owning one connected device. Even as we expect slowing smartphone growth later in the forecast, it’s hard to overlook the dominant position smartphones play in the greater device ecosystem.”

Mainelli also noted that it’s not likely that anything — including wearables — will unseat smartphones from this dominant position anytime soon.

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Smartphones continue to rule the global roost