Samsung overtook Apple as the world's leading manufacturer of "smart connected devices", according to new figures from IDC. The market watcher defines "smart connected devices" as PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
A total of 1.2 billion "smart connected devices" were shipped in 2012, an increase of nearly 30% compared to 2011.
Smartphones accounted for 60% of those devices. Smartphone shipments grew 46% to 722 million during the year. The fastest growing category was tablets, with unit shipments shooting up 78% to 128 million in 2012.
Laptop or 'portable PC' shipments shrank by 3% to 202 million, while desktops slid 4% to 148 million.
Samsung's share of the market grew from 12.3% in 2011 to 20.8% in 2012. Apple's share also grew, but from 16.3% in 2011 to 18.2% in 2012.
Chinese manufaturer Lenovo was third by market share (6.5%), followed by Hewlett-Packard (4.8%) and Dell (3.2%).
A separate report published today by Forrester Research found that tablet adoption in Western Europe will grow 10-fold in the next four years.
Following a survey of 13,000 consumers in Western Europe, Forrester predicted that percentage of adults that own a tablet that will grow from 14% in 2012 to 55% in 2017.
Thomas Husson, Forrester analyst and co-author of the report, wrote in a blog post that tablets are now mostly used to consume media in the home.
"In the near future, though, usage patterns will change and tablet usage will diversify significantly beyond mostly browsing in the living room," he added. "The adoption of tablets in the workplace, the diversification of form factors (in particular with 7-inch mini tablets), and the progressive emergence of 4G and cellular data bundles will be the driving forces behind this change."
"However, while we will see more and more commercial LTE rollouts for consumers in 2013, few tablets will have embedded 4G modems. For tablets to be used on the go frequently, operators would need to offer more affordable cellular data packages bundled with Wi-Fi usage."