WASHINGTON - Samsung (IW 1000/25) and Apple (IW 500/9) led the field of makers of "smart connected devices" -- tablets, smartphones and PCs -- in the third quarter as sales hit fresh records, a survey showed Monday.

Research firm IDC found that the global market for such devices grew 27.1% year-on-year in the third quarter to 303.6 million units, valued at $140.4 billion dollars.

The firm said it expects shipments will continue to reach record levels in the fourth quarter, rising 19.2% from the third quarter's figure and 26.5% above the same quarter a year ago.

IDC expects sales of 362 million units with a market value of $169.2 billion in the final quarter, with tablet sales up 55.8% and smartphones up 39.5%, while PCs are expected to show small declines.

Samsung maintained the top position with a 21.8% market share while Apple held 15.1% based on unit shipments.

But Apple led all vendors in value with $34.1 billion in quarterly sales and an average selling price of $744 across all device categories.

"The battle between Samsung and Apple at the top of the smart connected device space is stronger than ever," said IDC analyst Ryan Reith.

"Both vendors compete at the top of the tablet and smartphone markets. However, the difference in their collective ASPs (average selling prices) is a telling sign of different market approaches. The fact that Apple's ASP is $310 higher than Samsung's with just over 20 million fewer shipments in the quarter speaks volumes about the premium product line that Apple sells."