As might well be anticipated, Android OS phones will keep picking up more market share through 2015. More surprisingly, however, Apple's iPhones will slip slightly, and Windows Phone 7 (WP7) will grow fastest of all, pushing iPhones out of second place and into third, according to IDC's latest statistics on the world smartphone market.
RIM BlackBerry phones will also lose some ground, while Symbian's market share will become almost nonexistent four years from now. the analysts predicted.
Overall, the world smarphone market wlll skyrocket by 55% in 2011, moving to nearly 1 billion shipments by 2015, as users swap out their lower-end feature phones for more advanced gadgets, IDC said.
Meanwhile, in a study of the US market also released this week, comScore found that 31% of US mobile users now own a smartphone, up from only 20% just a year ago.
2015: Android Phones 43.8%, Windows Phones 20.3%, iPhones 16.9%
Specifically, in IDC's predictions, Android will step from a 38.9% world market share in 2011 to 43.8% in 2015, for a CAGR (cumulative annual growth rate) of 23.7%.
Apple's iOS-enabled iPhones, on the other hand, will dip from 18.2% to 16.9%, as "the smartphone market grows and diversifies," said the report.
Meanwhile, according to IDC, WP7/Windows Mobile will catapult from a meager 3.8% share to 20.3% -- for an astonishing 82.3% CAGR .
As drivers behind the future rise of WP7, IDC cited the expected release of WP7.1 ("Mango")-enabled phones later this year, followed by volume shipments of Nokia WP7-powered gadgets in 2012.
Windows Phones also seem set to benefit from the eventual demise of the Symbian OS, which holds a 20.6% share in 2011.
Like Apple's iPhones, RIM's BlackBerry phones will also show a slight decline in market share worldwide. BlackBerry will drop from 14.2% to 13.4%. "Other" mobile OS will account for 5.5% of the worldwide smartphone market in 2015, the IDC analysts projected.
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