Smartphone market to smash 2010 predictions

IDC claims the smartphone market will smash its own previous predictions for this year by 10 per cent.

Mobile phone

The smartphone market is set to grow by 55 per cent this year, according to a new analyst report.

IDC expects 269.6 million smartphones to be shipped over 2010 10 per cent more than the analyst's earlier predictions compared to 173.5 million in 2009.

"The smartphone is the catalyst behind the rebound in the worldwide mobile phone market this year," said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

"Additional product introductions and an expected flurry of smartphone buying activity in the second half of the year will push the market well above previous expectations."

Nokia's Symbian mobile operating system (OS) has dominated the market this year with a 40.1 per cent share, but IDC predicted this would drop to 32.9 per cent by 2014, with one particular mobile OS stealing the percentage points.

"Android is the wild card, deserving close observation for the rest of this year and the years to come," said Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC's Mobile Devices Technology and Trends team.

"Phone vendors have been drawn to Android because it allows them to present their own approach to what a smartphone experience can be. In addition, users have quickly warmed to Android, comparing it to iOS due to its ease of use and a growing mobile application storefront."

With the likes of HTC and Motorola getting on board with the mobile OS, and devices from vendors such as Dell, Kyocera, LG and Samsung on their way, IDC claimed the Google mobile OS will grow its market share from 16.3 per cent to 24.6 per cent by 2014.

Although still behind Symbian, it would mean Android would top BlackBerry OS, Windows Mobile and even Apple's iOS market shares.

"Windows Mobile is expected to regain some of the share it has lost over the past two years and BlackBerry's share will remain relatively constant while that of iOS will decline gradually," concluded IDC.

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