IDC Canada recently released its Q1 2014 Smart Connected Device Tracker results. Smart connected devices (SCDs) encompass desktop PCs, Portable PCs, 2-in-1 PCs, tablets and smartphones.

Unit shipments in Canada were down -7.6% year-over-year and accounted for 2,814,465 unit shipments. Surprisingly, portable PCs were the strongest performing category with a 7.3% annual growth rate. Tablet shipments, which include 2-in-1 PCs, were down 1.1% annually. Smartphones suffered double digit declines, but due to changes in phone contracts, these declines were to be expected.

While consumer spending was on the downturn, commercial spending was on the rise. Strong increases in tablet and portable PC shipments led to commercial shipments increasing by 2.2% annually, and also saw spending increase by 77% over the same period in 2013. In the last year, 14.3M SCDs have shipped to the Canadian consumer market, representing almost one device per household. Market spending is approaching $8B in the last four quarters, or nearly $540 per household.

"The ferocious appetite of Canadian consumers for the latest and greatest device may be beginning to wane. Consumers are shying away from the spontaneous purchase of the latest 'gadget.' A large percentage of these lower cost devices have a limited lifecycle and are not used even after as little as three months from the date of purchase."
As consumers expect some devices to be kept in service much longer than before, IDC expects the quality of those devices to improve and prices to increase. The big challenge for today's consumers will be deciding which type of device to buy and having realistic expectations for their selection. IDC's latest research has indicated a large shift in the way consumers are purchasing SCDs and also in the amount of time it takes them to make a selection.