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Smartphones Connecting Emerging Markets

Framingham, Mass. — Almost 2 billion connected devices will ship worldwide next year, according to an IDC report.

The company’s “Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker” report stated that 1.7 billion connected devices (smartphones, tablets and computers) will ship by 2014. The majority of the devices, about 650 million, will ship to the BRIC nations — Brazil, Russia, India and China — while the developed markets that include the United States, U.K. and Japan will account for 400 million units.

Worldwide in 2013 desktop PC shipments will continue their long decline, with 134 million shipping. Laptops will also suffer a drop to 187.4 million units shipping, down from 200.9 million, but by 2017 they will reverse this trend by shipping 209.5 million units shipped

Tablets will jump from 144.4 million units shipped in 2012 to 229.3 million this year, to 410.3 million by 2017. Smartphones will enjoy a staggering series of increases — leaping from 722.4 million shipped last year, to 958.7 million in 2013, to 1.6 billion in 2017.

IDC said smartphones are the dominant product for several reasons: the continued falling average selling price in emerging markets, and the increase in the number and type of mobile applications — particularly those in gaming, mobile check-in and mobile messaging categories.

“Smartphone and tablet prices are now less prohibitive to first-time buyers in emerging markets,” said Bob O’Donnell, program VP, clients and displays. “Although the double-digit growth of smartphones and tablets in emerging countries is a mouthwatering prospect, the low selling price also means that vendors will face huge struggles to meet the demands profitably.”