Smartphone shipping to double to 982 million units by end of 2015
Worldwide smartphone market is expected to grow 55% year-over-year in 2011, according to a new report by IDC.
The report revealed that vendors will ship a total of 472 million smartphones in 2011 compared to 305 million units shipped in 2010, and the shipping units will nearly double to 982 million by the end of 2015.
The research firm said that the fast-growing smartphone market is expected to grow more than four times the rate of the overall mobile phone market this year.
It said the boom is being fuelled by falling average selling prices, increased phone functionality, and lower-cost data plans among other factors, which make the devices more accessible to a wider range of users.
Android, which passed Symbian as the leading OS worldwide in Q4 2010, is expected to grow to more than 40% of the market in the second half of 2011.
Symbian will steadily lose share throughout the forecast period as its biggest supporter Nokia transitions its smartphone strategy to Windows Phone.
The research firm said that Windows Phone 7/Windows Mobile will benefit from Nokia’s support, scope, and breadth within markets where Nokia has historically had a strong presence.
Apple’s iOS was third ranked OS going into 2011, while BlackBerry OS is expected to maintain its position as a Top 4 smartphone OS over the forecast period.
IDC senior research analyst Ramon Llamas said end-users are becoming more sophisticated about what kinds of experiences are offered by the different operating systems.
"Taking this as their cue, operating system developers will strive for more intuitive and seamless experiences, but will also look to differentiate themselves along key features and characteristics," Llamas said.