U.S. is Now Home to Half a Billion Internet Connected Devices

If you want to know why the PC market is struggling, just look at the rapid rise of Internet connected devices. Sure, a desktop or laptop system offers far more functionality than a smartphone or tablet, and PCs aren't going the way of the dodo bird, but at the same time, mainstream users mostly interested in checking their Facebook feeds and firing off the occasional email can do so with a mobile device. Let's have a look at the numbers.

According to recent data by NPD Group, there are 500 million Internet connected devices just in U.S. homes alone. The number of connected gadgets per U.S. Internet household has grown to 5.7, up from 5.3 devices three months ago; the installed base of tablets increased by almost 18 million in that same time frame. PCs make up the majority of Internet connected devices, but increases in tablet and smartphone penetration drove the U.S. market to this milestone, NPD Group says.

Google Nexus 10

"Even with this extraordinary growth in the smartphone and tablet market, PCs are still the most prevalent connected device in U.S. Internet households, and this is a fact that won’t be changing any time soon," said John Buffone, director, devices, NPD Connected Intelligence. "However, when you look at the combined number of smartphones and tablets consumers own, for the first time ever it exceeded the installed base of computers."

PC penetration sits at 93 percent and is virtually unchanged in the past three months, versus smartphone penetration rising from 52 percent to 57 percent of cell phone users and tablet penetration jumping from 35 percent to 53 percent of Internet households.