Editor’s note: Jack Narcotta and Ezra Gottheil are analysts with Technology Business Research in the research and consulting firm’s computing practice. TBR specializes in the business and financial analyses of hardware, software, professional services, telecom and enterprise network vendors, and operators.

HAMPTON, N.H. – Technology Business Research Inc.’s 1Q13 Computing Devices Benchmark gives insight into the maturation of the mobile devices market and the decline of PC growth in the past year. An influx of mobile devices and new operating systems and emerging market demand are dictating device vendors’ go-to-market and product development strategies, and customers are beginning to greet new features on PCs with an air of indifference. TBR’s 1Q13 Computing Devices Benchmark investigates the rise of tablet computing, the decline of PC sales and the maturation of smartphones and offers invaluable information for vendors and buyers alike in a world where new devices are brought to market every day.

“We’ve seen mobile devices generate waves of change throughout the marketplace in the last 24 months,” said Jack Narcotta, a Computing Practice analyst. “The number of PC users was surpassed by mobile users in 4Q12, and through 2014 the form factors that have flooded the marketplace — smartphones and especially tablets — will exert even greater influence than ever before on R&D, marketing and strategic initiatives. Vendors that embrace these trends will be better positioned to weather the sea change in the devices marketplace.”

The outlook for the PC market is grim, with PC revenue growth declining nearly 15 percent in 1Q13. New PCs are purchased less frequently, as they now come equipped with improved specs and are better engineered and more reliable. TBR’s 1Q13 Computing Devices Benchmark examines these factors and analyzes how they affect PC sales, offering insight into what vendors need to re-evaluate their selling points. TBR investigates the PC market from a business perspective, offering views into the strategies of PC vendors, how they are reassessing their position in a shrinking marketplace and how they are planning to remain afloat in today’s technological world. The report is a quantitative and qualitative look at current trends and vendors’ future plans.

The rapid maturation of the smartphone market is also researched in the 1Q13 Computing Devices Benchmark. TBR’s analysis of the smartphone marketplace showed that sales of smartphones from Android OEMs and Apple accounted for 55.2% of the $108.6 billion in device revenue in 1Q13, and smartphone vendors’ revenue grew 38.25% year-to-year in 1Q13. Although revenue and profit growth from premium segments of mature markets are slowing — as evidenced by Samsung’s and Apple’s recent slowdowns — vendors in the smartphone industry are positioned to continue to grow by relying on strategies to claim larger shares of emerging markets. As consumer demand from China, India, Russia, Africa and South America reaches a fever pitch, vendors with a smartphone portfolio priced to meet demand and undercut the competition will find themselves at the forefront of the next wave of mobility.

“Emerging markets are enticing, volatile and necessary markets for mobile and PC vendors to participate in,” said Ezra Gottheil, a Computing Practice principal analyst. “Competition in these new markets will show which vendors have the mettle and resources to not just establish beachheads in markets in which they might not currently have a large presence but also to sustain growth in environments that are significantly more price-competitive than developed economies.”

TBR’s 1Q13 Computing Devices Benchmark continues to broaden its business-centric insight into the rising number of low-cost Android tablets working their way up the ranks of the device world into the hands of consumers and how they threaten to erode Apple’s market share and undermine Samsung’s efforts to take control. The report shows Apple and Android still dominate the tablet marketplace, but Windows 8 and low-cost tablets are rapidly moving into the hands of consumers. TBR’s 1Q13 Computing Devices Benchmark uncovers the who, what, when and where of the tablet landscape and identifies emerging opportunities and business models.

TBR’s Computing Devices Benchmark and company reports offer the information vendors need to gain competitive and critical insights. TBR researches vendors on a quarterly basis, and reports include in-depth SWOT analyses and performance metrics identifying leaders and laggards, giving a holistic view of the devices market. Companies covered in this report include Acer, Amazon, Apple, Asus, BlackBerry, Dell, Fujitsu Devices, HP, HTC, Huawei, Lenovo, LG, Motorola Mobility, Nokia, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba and ZTE.

(c) TBR