IDC: Samsung Ships More Units, Apple Gets More Money

Samsung shipped many more units in the "connected device" market than Apple in the September quarter, but Apple crushed the market in terms of dollars. IDC issued a report on Monday that shows Samsung pushing more devices for a lot less money.

We're well into December, and there's probably more interest in holiday sales than the third quarter, but IDC's report looked at the data in an interesting way. The firm took "a collective view of PCs, tablets, and smartphones," a market that grew 27.1% year-over-year during the third quarter, with a record 303.6 million units with a value of US$140.4 billion.

That's a lot of money, thanks in part to what Reuters called the Apple Tax on pricey gadgets paid by its slaves. IDC said Apple's average selling price (ASP) of $744 in this category "led all vendors in value." In comparison, Samsung's ASP was $434.

Samsung crushed it on market share, however, claiming 21.8 percent compared to Apple's 15.1 percent. Lenovo took third with 1 percent, HP took fourth with 4.6 percent, and Sony rounded out the top five with 3.6 percent of the market. Apple, Samsung, and Lenovo all gained share year-over-year, while HP and Sony dropped share.

"The battle between Samsung and Apple at the top of the smart connected device space is stronger than ever," Ryan Reith, program manager for Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers at IDC, said in a statement. "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."

He added, "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."


This market exploded in the last year, increasing from 238.9 million units in Q3 2011 to 303.6 million units in Q3 2012, for a 27.1 percent increase. In the chart below, you can see that smartphones are projected to grow far, far more than the rest of the market.

Tablets are also projected to show substantial growth, almost equaling portable PC unit sales by 2016. Sales of portable PCs will see slight growth in IDC's projections, while sales of desktop PCs are projected to remain essentially flat.

All told, the firm said that 2016 sales will reach 2.1 billion units with a market value of $796.7 billion. If market share remained where they were in Q3, Samsung