Current indicators suggest that the smartphone market will grow 49.2% in 2011, as millions of consumers leave their old phones behind in favor of more advanced technology.
Research analysts at IDC have projected that smartphone vendors will ship 450 million-plus units this year, as opposed to 303 million in 2010.
Along with this exceptional market growth will come a shakeup of market share, as Symbian takes a major hit while Android skyrockets. Nokia’s decision to go with Windows Phone 7 has completely devastated any hope for Symbian and, according to IDC’s projections, Symbian will drop from a 20.9% market share in 2011 to a 0.2% market share by 2015.
Symbian’s loss should be in large part Windows Phone 7’s gain, with IDC predicting the system to take advantage of Symbian’s departure with an increase from 5.5% in 2011 to 20.9% in 2015.
IDC’s analysis shows iOS and BlackBerry OS experiencing minimal losses, while expecting Android to creep upward toward a 50% market share by 2015.
Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC, explains: “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.”
Using this thought process, IDC expects Android to finish this year with a 39.5% market share, and to creep up to 45.5% by 2015.
Even those companies that are losing market share should still experience growth, with the exception of Symbian, because of the continual expansion of the market.
The full numbers from IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker are listed below.