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Smartphone vendors will ship more than 450 million smartphones in 2011 compared to the 303.4 million units shipped in 2010. Furthermore, the smartphone market will grow more than four times faster than the overall mobile phone market: 49.2 percent in 2011 as more consumers and enterprise users turn in their feature phones for smartphones, according to International Data Corporation (IDC).
Last year, Android took second place in 2010. This year, it will take the crown (which is not too shocking) and will steadily continue to grow share into 2015. Vendors who bet on Android as the mobile OS that would push their smartphone strategies saw great results last year, but the next few years look even more promising.
What may be a bit more surprising is the expectations IDC has for the Nokia-Microsoft deal. Up until the launch of Windows Phone 7 last year, Microsoft has steadily lost market share. The new alliance, however, will result in Windows Phone taking second place by 2015. Meanwhile, as Symbian is phased out, it will quickly fall into last place.
Where does that leave the rest of the market in 2015? IDC believes iOS will be in third and BlackBerry will be in fourth. It does not even mention HP's webOS.
"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."