IDC is predicting some big growth figures for smartphones over this year and towards 2015.
According to the company’s latest market forecast, smartphone shipments will climb to 472 million units in 2011, which will be 55% up on the 305 million shipped last year.
Extrapolating their data further to 2015, the IDC analysts expect 2011′s figure to double up, reaching 982 million by the close of 2015.
This year the smartphone market will expand at four times the rate of the overall mobile market, as smartphones become gradually more affordable and cheaper data plans are brought out by network operators.
Kevin Restivo, Senior Research Analyst, commented: “The smartphone floodgates are open wide. Mobile phone users around the world are turning in their ‘talk-and-text’ devices for smartphones as these devices allow users to perform daily tasks like shopping and banking from anywhere.”
“The growth trend is particularly pronounced in emerging markets where adoption is still in its early days. As a result, the growth in regions such as Asia/Pacific and Latin America, will be dramatic over the coming years.”
Turning to operating systems, IDC doesn’t really need a functioning crystal ball to predict the further decline of Symbian, the OS which Nokia has eschewed in favour of Windows Phone 7 for the future.
And the prediction that Android will grow and stay clearly at the top isn’t a hard one to make either, with IDC reckoning that Google’s platform will account for 40% of the smartphone market in the second half of 2011.
More interesting was IDC’s view on Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry and iOS. The analyst firm is cautious about Apple’s OS, stating that “after an initial explosive growth period, iOS is expected to grow at a more modest pace throughout the latter half of the forecast as the smartphone market matures and diversifies”.
It’s pretty much the same prediction for BlackBerry – its market share will remain roughly the same, with a slight decline through to 2015, even though shipment volumes will continue to increase.
And while Windows Phone 7 is most definitely floundering now, IDC thinks that as Nokia support comes into play along with the Mango update for the operating system at the end of the year, Microsoft can expect a small market share to get much larger.
In fact, by 2015 IDC predicts that Windows Phone 7 will be the second place OS behind Android and will have a market share in excess of 20%.