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) --


has been receiving the majority of the positive buzz in recent weeks and months as it relates to


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. One area where Apple dominates, however, is revenue.

Research firm



that Apple is closing the gap on Samsung, which primarily uses


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Android operating system, as it pertains to connected devices. But when it comes to sales, Apple is in the lead. For the fourth quarter, Apple had 30.7% of the revenue generated from the connected device market, versus 20.4% for Samsung. That bump was aided by the iPhone 5 and the iPad mini, which were released in late 2012. Samsung still holds the top spot when it comes to unit share, at 21.2%, though Apple did close that gap significantly.

Apple may be poised to surpass Samsung in unit growth, thanks in large part to the success of its iPad and iPad mini tablets. IDC noted that it expects tablets to surpass desktop PCs in 2013, and laptop sales in 2014. The tablet market is expected to experience 48.7% year-over-year growth. The smartphone market is still growing strong, with an expected 27.2% growth year over year, but that's down from recent years, and part of the reason why Apple's share price has lagged in recent months. Investors are concerned that the iPhone, where Apple derives over half of its revenue from, is becoming a mature product.

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Tablets are experiencing strong growth, particularly from emerging markets, as consumers first buy a smartphone, then a tablet, noted IDC research analyst Megha Saini.

"In emerging markets, consumer spending typically starts with mobile phones and, in many cases, moves to tablets before PCs. The pressure on the PC market is significantly increasing and we can see longer replacement cycles coming into effect very soon and that, too, will put downward pressure on PC sales," Saini said in a press release.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has talked about this in the past, and expects the tablet market to blow away the PC market in terms of growth and opportunity. At a recent investor conference, Cook said tablets are going to be a huge opportunity for Apple, noting that Apple sold more iPads in its latest quarter than


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sold PCs.

"And so there has been a sea change here, but I think we're in the early innings of this game," Cook said at the conference.

Apple shares were lower in Tuesday trading, down 0.2% to $462.45.


Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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