Smart connected devices including computers, smartphones and tablets, shipped more than 916 million units and earned revenues of $489 billion in 2011, according to IDC. Those figures will continue climbing in the near future with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) projected to be 15.4% over the next five years.
Companies are due to ship 1.1 billion devices this year and by 2016 that will rise to 1.84 billion units, more than double 2011's number. As is the ongoing trend with these types of reports, IDC predicts that consumers will spend less on x86-based Windows machines over the coming years, favoring mobile gear instead.
PCs are expected to slip from a leading 35.9% share in 2011 to 25.1% in 2016, though unit shipments will purportedly grow from 353 million to a healthy 518 million. Smartphones will explode from 494 million units in 2011 to 1.61 billion in 2016, while tablets will expand from 69 million to 198 million in the same timeframe.
IDC reports that Android-based devices will grow from a share of 29.4% to 31.1% over the next five years, while iOS devices will jump from 14.6% to 17.3%. IDC didn't offer any predictions for Windows Phone or even Windows 8, which supports ARM's architectures and is expected to appear on many upcoming tablets.
Much of the smartphone growth will be attributed to Asia/Pacific countries, such as China, where operators subsidize the purchase of 3G smartphones. In such developing regions, 3G handsets will serve as the population's primary Internet connection, according to Will Stofega, program director of IDC's mobile team.
"We are in the multi-device age and we believe the number of people who use multiple devices will only continue to increase. The trick, moving forward, will be to integrate all these devices into a unified whole through use of personal cloud-type applications and services," said Bob O'Donnell, VP of Clients and Displays at IDC.
The iPhone 4S looks identical to last year's model but comes in a new 64GB flavor and upgrades the camera to include an 8-megapixel sensor with improved low-light performance and 1080p video capture. In terms of performance the new iPhone is reportedly up to 2x faster and is also capable of running on faster HSPA+ networks, reaching theoretical download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps.
The Apple iPad (3rd-gen) includes a Retina Display operating at a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536. Powering the new iPad is a dual-core A5X processor with quad-core graphics, it also gets upgraded optics in the form of a 5MP backside illuminated sensor that features a 5-element lens, IR filter and ISP built into the A5X chip. Apple claims The new iPad is good for 10 hours of battery life and nine hours when using 4G LTE.
The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime sports a very high-resolution 1920 x 1200 pixel 10.1-inch Full HD display, it is powered by either a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 or dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processors depending on configuration. It runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and has an optional keyboard dock like the other Transformer tablets from Asus.
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