Apple and Samsung are now top smart device makers

Together, the two companies account for 37% of smartphones, tablets and PCs

Apple and Samsung have emerged as the global kings of smartphones, tablets and PCs even though the two vendors have very different product and pricing strategies, IDC said Monday.

On price, Apple's average selling price (ASP) for all its products is $310 more than Samsung's ASP, IDC said. That meant Samsung was able to ship to retailers about 20 million more smartphones, tablets, and PC's than Apple during the third quarter.

In all, Samsung sold 66.1 million "smart devices" in the quarter, outpacing the 45.8 million from Apple, IDC said.

In terms of market share, Samsung had 21.8% of all tablets, smartphones, desktops and laptops shipped during the period, while Apple had 15.1%. At that rate, Samsung grew by 97% over the third quarter of 2011, while Apple grew by 38%.

The remaining vendors each had less than 7% of the market for all these devices, with Lenovo at 7%, HP at 4.6% and Sony at 3.6%. The total number of shipments for all vendors for all smart devices was 303.6 million, IDC said.

"The battle between Samsung and Apple at the top of the smart connected device space is stronger than ever," said Ryan Reith, an IDC analyst. The fact that Apple charges higher prices while shipping 20 million fewer products "speaks volumes about the premium product line that Apple sells," Reith said.

Smartphones will comprise 60.1.% of all smart devices shipped in 2012, IDC predicted, followed by 17.2% for laptops, 12.5% for desktop PCs and 10.2% for tablets. All smart devices shipped in 2012 will total nearly 1.2 billion devices, IDC said.

By 2016, tablets will be the second most popular device shipped, ahead of laptops and desktops, while smartphones will account for 66.7% of all smart devices shipped that year, IDC predicted. By 2016, it expects 2.1 billion devices to ship.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at  @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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