The International Data Corporation (IDC) added up the numbers from its Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, Mobile Phone Tracker, and Media Tablet Tracker this week and came up with the number of PC's, tablets, and smartphones that shipped worldwide in 2011: 916 million. That's right, almost 1 billion devices shipped last year, and those products raked in over $489 billion. They estimate shipments will reach 1.1 billion by 2012 and that shipments will more than double by 2016, with 1.84 billion units. The IDC has provided a chart to demonstrate the trend:
"Whether it's consumers looking for a phone that can tap into several robust 'app' ecosystems, businesses looking at deploying tablet devices into their environments, or educational institutions working to update their school's computer labs, smart, connected, compute-capable devices are playing an increasingly important role in nearly every individual's life," said Bob O'Donnell, vice president of Clients and Displays at IDC.
IDC made another prediction that seems astounding: that Windows will lose its leading position of operating system market share to Android by 2016. The prediction is that Windows' market share will fall to about 25%, while Android's market share will rise to 31%.
"Android's growth is tied directly to the propagation of lower-priced devices," said Tom Mainelli, a research director with ICS. "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."
IDC claims this amazing market growth will come about as a result of consumers buying multiple devices for themselves and the growth of Asian markets. "Smartphone growth will be driven by Asia/Pacific countries, especially China, where mobile operators are subsidizing the purchase of 3G smartphones, thus increasing the total addressable market," said Will Stofega, a program director at IDC.