The wireless industry can be tough to predict, especially when it comes to how the various platforms will grow and shrink in popularity over a given amount of time. That's exactly what the IDC has attempted to do this morning, though, issuing their prediction for how the mobile landscape will look in 2015. Unsurprisingly, they've chosen Android as the leader of the pack worldwide with a market share that's nearly 50 percent. The platform in the next spot may be the biggest point of debate in the report, as the IDC believes that Windows Phone 7 will control 20.9 percent of the market by the time that 2015 rolls around thanks to Nokia's hardware. Next up is iOS with 15.3 percent, BlackBerry with 13.7 percent, and "Others" with 4.6 percent. In dead last we have Symbian, which the IDC previously claimed would be the king until 2014, with only 0.2 percent. As for the smartphone market as a whole, the IDC believes that we'll see it grow a whopping 49.2 percent in 2011 as more people ditch their feature phones for more powerful smartphones.
While the IDC's prediction for Android doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility considering that Google's OS already controls a pretty big chunk of the market, the firm's claim that WP7 will make up a fifth of the market in 2015 may make some people scratch their heads. Microsoft hasn't exactly been forthcoming with WP7 sales numbers just yet so it's tough to say where the platform stands in the market now, but it's also worth noting that its roll out isn't totally complete just yet: Verizon has yet to launch a WP7 device and Sprint's HTC Arrive has only been around for a little over a week. Once the platform fleshes out a bit more, we'll get a better idea of whether or not WP7 can really capture 20 percent of the mobile market by 2015. What do you all think about the IDC's predictions?
IDC Forecasts Worldwide Smartphone Market to Grow by Nearly 50% in 2011
29 Mar 2011
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. March 29, 2011 – The worldwide smartphone market is expected to grow 49.2% in 2011 as more consumers and enterprise users turn in their feature phones for smartphones with more advanced features. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, smartphone vendors will ship more than 450 million smartphones in 2011 compared to the 303.4 million units shipped in 2010. Moreover, the smartphone market will grow more than four times faster than the overall mobile phone market.
"Overall market growth in 2010 was exceptional," said 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."
To capture the strong consumer demand for smartphones, manufacturers have unleashed a steady stream of new models and features over the past two years. The battle for mind and market share has also resulted in stiff competition among the smartphone operating systems.
"Android is poised to take over as the leading smartphone operating system in 2011 after racing into the number 2 position in 2010," said Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC's Mobile Devices Technology and Trends team. "For the vendors who made Android the cornerstone of their smartphone strategies, 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 recent announcement to shift from Symbian to Windows Phone will have significant implications for the smartphone market going forward. "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," added 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."