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TECH SPACE
Samsung, Apple top 'smart device' Q3 sales: survey
by Staff Writers
Washington Dec 10, 2012


Motorola closing operations in South Korea
San Francisco (AFP) Dec 10, 2012 - Motorola Mobility on Monday confirmed that it is shutting down most of its operations in South Korea as part of a move to consolidate research after being bought by Google this year.

"This was a difficult but necessary decision," Motorola said in an email response to an AFP inquiry.

"The changes in Korea reflect our plans to consolidate our global R&D efforts to foster collaboration, and to focus more attention on markets where we are best positioned to compete effectively."

California-based Google said in August that it would lay off about 4,000 employees at Motorola, which it purchased in a deal valued at $12.5 billion, in order to return the company to profitability.

Samsung and Apple led the field of makers of "smart connected devices" -- tablets, smartphones and PCs -- in the third quarter as sales hit fresh records, a survey showed Monday. Research firm IDC found that the global market for such devices grew 27.1 percent year-on-year in the third quarter to 303.6 million units, valued at $140.4 billion dollars. The firm said it expects shipments will continue to reach record levels in the fourth quarter, rising 19.2 percent from the third quarter's figure and 26.5 percent above the same quarter a year ago. IDC expects sales of 362 million units with a market value of $169.2 billion in the final quarter, with tablet sales up 55.8 percent and smartphones up 39.5 percent, while PCs are expected to show small declines. Samsung maintained the top position with a 21.8 percent market share while Apple help 15.1 percent based on unit shipments. But Apple led all vendors in value with $34.1 billion in quarterly sales and an average selling price of $744 across all device categories. "The battle between Samsung and Apple at the top of the smart connected device space is stronger than ever," said IDC analyst Ryan Reith. "Both vendors compete at the top of the tablet and smartphone markets. However, the difference in their collective ASPs (average selling prices) is a telling sign of different market approaches. 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." In terms of shipments, Lenovo ranked third with seven percent of the market, followed by Hewlett-Packard (4.6 percent), and Sony (3.6 percent). IDC expects the worldwide smart connected device market will hit 2.1 billion units in 2016 with a market value of $796.7 billion worldwide. In 2011, PCs accounted for 39.1 percent of this market but by 2016 it is expected to drop to 19.9 percent. Smartphones will be the top product category with share growing from 53.1 percent in 2011 to 66.7 percent in 2016 and tablets will grow from 7.7 percent in 2011 to 13.4 percent in 2016. "Both consumers and business workers are finding the need for multiple 'smart' devices and we expect that trend to grow for several years, especially in more developed regions," said IDC's Bob O'Donnell. "The advent of cloud-based services is enabling people to seamlessly move from device to device, which encourages the purchase and usage of different devices for different situations."

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