More than 260m smart mobile devices were shipped during the second quarter of this year – up 27.4pc on the same period in 2011 and a 2.8pc rise on the previous quarter, according to IDC.
The category covers PCs, smartphones and tablets. In Europe, smartphones outsold PCs by a factor of 1.8:1 between April and June 2012 (58pc compared to 32.9pc), while tablets accounted for 9.1pc of all shipments.
In the Americas, tablets performed more strongly with 14.8pc of the total market. PCs performed slightly more strongly than in Europe, with 34.8pc of the total, and smartphones accounted for 50pc of the category.
The data means smart connected devices are on course to reach 1.2bn units this year. Business and consumer customers continue to show “an aggressive appetite” for these devices, the market watcher said.
Measured by revenue, manufacturers collected US$131.5bn during the second quarter. That was a 16.3pc improvement on the same quarter in 2011, but actually represented a drop on Q1 2012.
Injecting some caution, IDC warned that not just PCs but smart connected devices face a tough time and said the rapid initial growth of tablets and smartphones in the US has begun to slow.
Looking further ahead, next year IDC forecasts the smart connected device market will grow by 19.2pc to reach 1.4bn units, and it will break the 2bn barrier in 2016.
Commenting on the findings, Bob O’Donnell, a vice-president with IDC’s Clients and Displays group, said: “The recent shipment data clearly demonstrates that we have fully entered into the multi-device era, where individuals are buying and using multiple devices per person, most often with different combinations of operating systems.”
This trend will have “profound” implications for application developers, device makers, web services providers, businesses, and even individuals, O’Donnell added.
Mobile devices image via Shutterstock