Smartphone Adoption at All-time High: Going Up 50% in 2011

Apr 05, 2011 — Allan Pulga

IDC predicted last week (March 29) that the global smartphone market will grow by 49.2 percent in 2011, as more consumers and businesses turn in their feature phones for smartphones.

That, however, is a drop from the 74 percent growth rate the industry saw in 2010, according to IDC’s estimates.

“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.”

IDC notes that strong customer demand for smartphones has prompted manufacturers to release a “steady stream of new models and features over the past two years” and resulted in stiff competition between smartphone operating systems.

By the end of the year, IDC predicts:

  • Android will overtake first place among operating systems, with a 40 percent share of the global smartphone market.
  • Nokia’s Symbian OS will continue to slip from its once-leading position, down to 21 percent.
  • Apple’s iOS will command 15.7 percent of the market.
  • RIM’s BlackBerry OS will hold the fourth position with a 14.9 percent market share.
  • Windows Phone 7 will obtain a 5.5 percent share of the market.

Windows Phone 7 to Overtake iPhone and BlackBerry by 2015

Interestingly, IDC forecasts that Nokia’s recent shift from Symbian to Windows Phone (see Nokia and Microsoft Join Forces) will make a big impact on the smartphone landscape, allowing Windows Phone to surpass iPhone and BlackBerry and reach a 20.9 percent market share by 2015.

“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,” said Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC’s Mobile Devices Technology and Trends team. “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 the number-two operating system worldwide behind Android.”

“The analysis seems to depend heavily on Nokia customers moving from Symbian phones to Windows devices, rather than to Androids, iPhones or BlackBerrys,” wrote Jon Brodkin of Network World (March 29). “The iPhone won’t lose any significant market share – it just won’t gain any because Android is poised to rise even further and Microsoft’s Nokia deal will fuel growth in WP7, IDC says.”

Topics: Wireless Trends, Mobile Industry

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