As the old saying goes, what goes up must come down. It’s a simple concept demonstrated by the science governing our universe, and not even a skyrocketing Android platform can escape gravity’s drag. Market research firm IDC has published its Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report, which further solidifies Android as the world’s top smartphone platform, but not without a bit of bubble bursting.
IDC predicts that Android will reach its market peak in 2012 with a 61 percent share of global smartphone users. After this, Google’s platform will decline over the next five years as Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS climbs into the number two spot. The good news is that the predicted drop in Android share is not particularly sharp or drastic. By 2016 IDC says Android will hold 52.9 percent of the market, a number that equals a drop off of lest than 10 percent. The figure can be directly related to Windows Phone’s growth to a 19.2 percent share. Apple’s iOS will also decline from a 20.5 percent share in 2012 to a 19 percent share in 2016, making it the world’s number three smartphone platform by a slim margin.
Of course, any number of unforeseeable events could occur that would dramatically change IDC’s outlook. A popular new platform could emerge, a current heavyweight could get pushed out of the ring. The numbers play out in a world where adoption rates remain fairly stable in relation to the smartphone market as it sits today. Regardless of what happens, it looks like we can count on Android dominating the market for years to come.