March 29, 2011 at 11:58 AM ET
Android: It's king of the world! At least it will be this year, according to new forecast from IDC research firm.
"Android is poised to take over as the leading smartphone operating system in 2011 after racing into the number 2 position in 2010," said Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC's Mobile Devices Technology and Trends team, in a news release.
"For the vendors who made Android the cornerstone of their smartphone strategies, 2010 was the coming-out party. This year will see a coronation party as these same vendors broaden and deepen their portfolios to reach more customers, particularly first-time smartphone users."
And the after-coronation party will continue; based on IDC's projections, Android will have 39.5 percent of the global smartphone operating system market this year and reach 45.4 percent in 2015.
Next on the list: Nokia's Symbian OS (used heavily in Europe), which will have 20.9 percent of market share in 2011, but free-fall to 0.2 percent in 2015, IDC says. However, with Nokia due to add Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 OS to its mix in 2012, by 2015, IDC "expects Windows Phone to number 2 operating system worldwide behind Android."
(Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)
Apple's iOS mobile operating system stay about the same in the years ahead, the firm projects, going from 15.7 percent of the market in 2011 to 15.3 percent in 2015.
And RIM's BlackBerry OS will decline slightly from14.9 percent this year to 13.7 percent in 2015.
Meanwhile, the overall demand for smartphones globally continues to grow, says IDC, expected to increase49.2 percent this year as "more consumers and (business) users turn in feature phones for smartphones with more advanced features."
"Smartphone vendors will ship more than 450 million smartphones in 2011 compared to the 303.4 million units shipped in 2010," IDC said. "Moreover, the smartphone market will grow more than four times faster than the overall mobile phone market."
Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, says 2010 growth was "exceptional," and 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."
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