LONDON: In further evidence that tablets and smartphones are the prime drivers of overall consumer electronics spending in Western Europe, new industry data has revealed that shipments of smart connected devices (SCDs) rose 12% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2013.

Analysis from the International Data Corporation (IDC), the technology market intelligence provider, found combined shipments of SCDs – defined as desktop PCs, portable PCs, tablets and smartphones – reached almost 55m in Q3 2013.

Overall shipments are expected to exceed 230m units this year, valuing the market in Western Europe at close to $120bn, up 11% compared with 2012.

Tablet shipments are expected to reach over 45m units, registering growth of 53.1% for 2013 compared with 2012 as well as growth of 38% in Q3 2013 compared to the same period last year.

The smartphone market, still dominated by Samsung, recorded quarterly growth of 17%, taking the total number of shipments to almost 35m in Q3 2013, which IDC attributed to key product re-launches and "fierce" competition among vendors.

Samsung remained the largest overall vendor, recording SCD shipments of almost 18k during the quarter, although Apple continued to sell the most tablets, followed by Samsung and Asus of Taiwan.

Apple remained the second-largest overall SCD vendor, shipping almost 10k units over the quarter, followed by Sony, HP and Nokia – but Sony and Nokia recorded by far the highest rates of year-on-year growth at 50.1% and 42.5% respectively.

Chrystelle Labesque, research manager of IDC EMEA Personal Computing, observed that the change in usage patterns will continue to drive innovation and open new opportunities for the SCD industry.

"The smart connected device market is going through an accelerated expansion phase, fundamentally changing the way consumers and businesses use and consider their computing device," she said.

Data sourced from IDC; additional content by Warc staff