By 30 March 2011 | Categories: news


Research firm Gartner predicted last year that the worldwide mobile operating system (OS) market will be dominated by Symbian and Android, with the group expecting both platforms to account for 59.8% of mobile OS sales by 2014. Mind you that was before Nokia’s newly announced smartphone courtship with Microsoft that will see the Finnish manufacturer adopt Windows Phone 7 as its primary smartphones OS.
Now, the International Data Corporation (IDC) has also tried its hand at forecasting the developments on the smartphone market landscape. According to its Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, the global smartphone market is expected to grow by 49.2% this year.
The firm predicts that smartphone vendors will be shipping north of 450 million smartphones during 2011, compared to the 303.4 million units shipped last year. The company also believes that the smartphone market is going to grow four times quicker than the overall mobile phone market.
“Overall market growth in 2010 was exceptional,” stated Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.
“Last year’s high market growth was due in part to pent-up demand from a challenging 2009, when many buyers held off on mobile phone purchases. The expected market growth for 2011, while still notable, will taper off somewhat from what we saw in 2010.”
Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC’s Mobile Devices Technology and Trends team stated: “Android is poised to take over as the leading smartphone operating system in 2011 after racing into the number 2 position in 2010.”
“For the vendors who made Android the cornerstone of their smartphone strategies [including Sony Ericsson with its Xperia smartphones and Motorola with devices like the Flipout], 2010 was the coming-out party. This year will see a coronation party as these same vendors broaden and deepen their portfolios to reach more customers, particularly first-time smartphone users.”
Nokia’s deal with Microsoft will also have a dramatic impact on the smartphone market going forward, according to the research firm, which like Gartner previously predicted that Symbian would remain numero uno in the platform department until 2013.  
“Up until the launch of Windows Phone 7 last year, Microsoft has steadily lost market share while other operating systems have brought forth new and appealing experiences,” explains Llamas.
“The new alliance brings together Nokia’s hardware capabilities and Windows Phone’s differentiated platform. We expect the first devices to launch in 2012. By 2015, IDC expects Windows Phone to be number 2 operating system worldwide behind Android.”
Over the next four years the IDC sees Windows Phone OS growing its 5.5% share of the smartphone market in 2011 to 20.9%, placing it second after Google’s Android which will take a 45.4% share of the market.
Symbian will be the biggest loser reducing its 20.9% share (coincidentally Windows Phone OS’ predicted market share for 2015) to a barely registering 0.2%. Apple’s iOS places third, claiming 15.3% of the market (almost the same as its current market share), with Research In Motion’s BlackBerry smartphones taking up 13.7% to claim fourth spot when it comes to the overall smartphone market share.


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