Google’s Android operating system is expected to lead a growing smartphone market, increasing its No. 1 position to just under 50 percent by 2015, according to one analysis released Tuesday. Apple is in third-place, its iOS commanding just 15.7 percent of smartphones. Potentially more troubling, the IDC report shows Apple’s growth by 2015 relatively flat, falling to 15.3 percent in four years.
As the smartphone market takes 49.2 percent of the mobile handset market, Nokia’s Symbian will suffer. The cell phone giant’s smartphone market share will fall from this year’s fourth-place 20.9 percent, to 0.2 percent by 2015, according to the researchers.
“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,” said senior IDC research analyst Ramon Llamos.
Microsoft’s Windows 7 smartphone platform will surge from its current 5.5 percent of the market to 20.9 percent, according to the research.
Overall, 450 million smartphones are expected to ship globally in 2011, up dramatically from 303.4 million in 2010, a period researchers describe has having exceptional growth due to pent-up demand for the handsets.