The worldwide market for smartphones (aka converged mobile devices) is expected to grow 55.4%
this year compared
to 2009, amid greater-than-expected demand for the do-it-all
In a market forecast published today, the International Data Corporation Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker reports that new models have increased user numbers, and that Android is the
wild card. Nokia's Symbian remained in the top operating position, followed by BlackBerry, Android, Apple's iOS, Windows and others.
The estimate is 10% higher than the previous IDC forecast. IDC now expects mobile phone vendors to ship 269.6 million converged
mobile devices this year compared to the 173.5 million units shipped in
2009. The increased market forecast for smartphones comes amid the
launch of several new models, such as the BlackBerry Torch, EVO 4G, and
the iPhone 4, in recent months.
The accelerated smartphone growth will translate into a better overall
market performance this year. IDC now expects the 2010 overall mobile
phone market to grow 14.1%, or 1.5% higher than its previous forecast.
Last year, the market declined 2.8%, the first such occurrence in Mobile
Phone Tracker history.
The outlook for 2011 is also very strong. Despite uncertainty about the
economy, the smartphone market is expected to increase 24.5% in 2011.
However, smartphone growth will decline progressively over the course of
IDC's five-year forecast period. In 2014, for example, the market is
expected to rise by just 13.6%.
"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."
units or 55.5% more than the 76.8 million units shipped during the first
half of 2009.
"As the worldwide smartphone market continues to grow at a strong rate,
the market dynamics among mobile operating systems continue to shift,"
said Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC. "Longtime operating systems
leaders BlackBerry, Symbian, and Windows Mobile are about to or have
already launched refreshed operating systems to compete with recent
newcomers Android and iOS. The latter operating systems have taken away
both mindshare and market share from the old regime, and have helped
propel the market forward."
"Android is the wild card, deserving close observation for the rest of
this year and the years to come," added Llamas. "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. Now that HTC and Motorola have
leapt out in front with their own respective devices, other vendors such
as Dell, Kyocera, LG Electronics, and Samsung will soon help grow the
Nonetheless, there is ample room for multiple players to grow. No one
smartphone OS will dominate mobile phones in the way that Microsoft has
with Windows on the personal computer. "IDC believes the market will
comfortably support up to five OS players over the next five years,"
Restivo noted. "Shorter replacement cycles and an ample feature phone to
smartphone upgrade opportunity means the smartphone OS market will
remain fragmented but healthy for the foreseeable future."
Symbian will maintain its number one standing throughout the forecast
period with a 32.9% share in 2014. However, it will lose share, primarily
to Android, which is expected to grow its share fastest over the
forecast period, rising from 16.3% to 24.6%. Meanwhile, 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.
Worldwide Converged Mobile Device Operating System Market
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, September 7,
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