June 9, 2011 at 12:15 PM ET
Android's worldwide onslaught, with 38.9 percent of the market, will easily surpass 40 percent in the second half of this year and take 43.8 percent of the market by 2015, according to a new report from IDC. By 2015, Windows phones, because of Microsoft's partnership with Nokia, may reach the No. 2 spot.
By 2015, Nokia's Symbian operating system, in second place right now with 20.6 percent of the market, is expected to dwindle to 0.1 percent by 2015. Apple's iOS, which is third at 18.2 percent, is expected to be 16.9 percent by 2015.
Research In Motion's sagging BlackBerry OS now has 14.2 percent of the market, and will continue to dip, to 13.4 percent by 2015.
Android passed Symbian as the leading mobile OS in late 2010 and should "grow to more than 40 percent of the market in the second half" of 2011, IDC said in its Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report.
But in the years ahead, Windows Phone 7 and Windows Mobile will benefit hugely from "Nokia's support, scope, and breadth within markets where Nokia has historically had a strong presence," IDC said. (Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)
"Until Nokia begins introducing Windows Phone-powered smartphones in large volumes in 2012, Windows Phone 7/Windows Mobile will only capture a small share of the market as the release of Mango-powered smartphones are not expected to reach the market until late 2011," IDC said. "Nevertheless, assuming that Nokia's transition to Windows Phone goes smoothly, the OS is expected to defend a number 2 rank and more than 20 percent share in 2015."
Mango is the next major software release for Windows phones, and is due out this fall.
Here's more on what IDC had to say about each mobile OS:
Symbian:"... will steadily lose share throughout the forecast period as its biggest supporter Nokia transitions its smartphone strategy to Windows Phone. This will present a huge opportunity for competing operating systems to gain footing. Still, Nokia's commitment to support Symbian devices until 2016 will keep the installed base of Symbian-powered smartphone users on par with
Windows Phone 7/Windows Mobile:" ... assuming that Nokia's transition to Windows Phone goes smoothly, the OS is expected to defend a number 2 rank and more than 20 percent share in 2015."
Apple iOS:"... will remain a force in the mobile phone market throughout the forecast. After an initial explosive growth period, iOS is expected to grow at a more modest pace throughout the latter half of the forecast as the smartphone market matures and diversifies. Although a small market share decline is expected, IDC expects significant overall shipment volume growth through the end of 2015."
BlackBerry OS: " ... Like iOS, the BlackBerry OS will experience market share decline even as shipment volumes grow throughout our forecast."
Smartphones continueto be hot products; the worldwide smartphone market is expected to grow 55 percent in 2011, as more users trade in their "dumb phones," or feature phones, for devices with these sophisticated operating systems.