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Smartphones outnumber client PCs in 2011 shipment.

Taipei, Feb. 8, 2012 (CENS) -- For the first time, smartphone vendors outshine client PC vendors in shipment volume when they delivered 488 million systems in 2011, compared with the 415 million systems including tablets shipped by client PC vendors, according to market consulting firm Canalys.

The firm's statistics show that vendors shipped 158.5 million smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2011, soaring 57% from the 101.2 million units shipped in the same quarter of 2010. This brisk quarter took total global shipments for the whole of 2011 to 487.7 million units, up 63% from the 299.7 million smartphones shipped in 2010.

Their shipments of Android-based smartphones eclipsed the level of 80 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, only 10 million systems behind client PC shipments. Taiwan's industry executives estimated chances are pretty great for Android-phone shipments to exceed that of pure client PCs on a quarterly basis this year, as the Q4 2011 shipments of 81.9 million phones were close to the shipments of 93.7 million pure client PCs.

Although smartphone shipments exceeded client PC shipments excluding tablets in the fourth quarter of 2010, the phone shipments for the first time outstripped the combined shipments of client PCs and tablets.

However, Canalys expects to see smartphone market growth slow in 2012 as vendors exercise greater cost control and discipline, and put more focus on profitability.

Cananlys pointed out that smartphone shipments overtaking those of client PCs should be seen as a significant milestone. In a few years, smartphones have grown from a niche product segment at the high-end of the mobile phone market to a truly mass-market proposition. The greater availability of smartphones at lower price points has helped tremendously, but there has been a driving trend of increasing consumer appetite for Internet browsing, content consumption and engaging with apps and services on mobile devices.

As to the client PC segment, the firm's statistics showed that the 2011 shipments represented a 15% increase year on year, with tablet shipments alone spiking 274%. Tablets constituted 15% of all client PC shipments in 2011.

The shipments for the fourth quarter last year alone were 120 million systems, including 26.5 million tablets. The tablet shipments represented a staggering 1.86 fold increase over a year earlier.
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Title Annotation:personal computer
Author:Liu, Ken
Publication:The Taiwan Economic News
Geographic Code:9TAIW
Date:Feb 8, 2012
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