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IDC: smart devices will top 1 billion this year, doubling by 2016

Posted at 31 March 2012 00:00 CEST by Justin_Massoud

The smart revolution is in full swing, but based on new research from IDC it’s only getting started. The firm says more than 1 billion web-ready smartphones, tablets, TVs, video game consoles and PCs will ship worldwide this year. That figure is expected to hit 1.84 billion by 2016.

IDC Vice President of Clients and Displays Bob O’Donnell named phones, tablets and PCs in particular as key devices in the market’s expansion. According to O’Donnell, people do love their apps.

“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 O’Donnell.

As far as the companies powering those smart devices, the researcher sees Google’s Android taking over. The OS will see its market performance increase from running on 29 percent of ARM CPUs last year to over 31 percent in 2016. The slight growth will be enough to surpass Microsoft’s Windows on x86 platform, which IDC predicts will fall from 36 percent to 25 percent in the coming years. Meanwhile, Apple’s iOS will see a small gain, increasing from 15 percent in 2011 to 17 percent in 2016.

Let’s hope Google can fill in all those Android security holes by then.

“Android’s growth is tied directly to the propagation of lower-priced devices,” said Tom Mainelli, research director, Mobile Connected Devices. “So, while we expect dozens of hardware vendors to own some share in the Android market, many will find profitability difficult to sustain.”

Mainelli added that iOS will remain a priority for software developers thanks to consumers favoring Apple’s App Store when it comes to actually spending money.

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