Android to Grow to Almost 50% Share as Smartphone Market Doubles by 2015, Says IDC


International Data Corporation has released their forecast for the worldwide smartphone market into the next year and beyond, and once again things are looking just peachy for Android. The analytics firm is predicting smartphone shipments to rise to 450 million 2011, a gain on 2010’s 303.4 million units shipped. Some of those 450 million handsets are expected to contribute to a 39.5 percent market share for Android by the end of the year as Apple drops to 15.7 percent, BlackBerry falls to 14.9 percent, and Windows Phone 7 begins its rise.

Projecting into 2015, Android is predicted to hold a whopping 45.4 percent of the market as smartphone shipments could double from those we see today. Windows Phone 7 (no doubt with the help of Nokia) may rise to second palce with 20.9 percent, while Apple and RIM make up the third and fourth spot respectively. The report mirrors findings by research firm Ovum, which similarly saw the smartphone market doubling by mid-decade with Android leading the pack.

IDC Forecasts Worldwide Smartphone Market to Grow by Nearly 50% in 2011

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The worldwide smartphone market is expected to grow 49.2% in 2011 as more consumers and enterprise users turn in their feature phones for smartphones with more advanced features. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, smartphone vendors will ship more than 450 million smartphones in 2011 compared to the 303.4 million units shipped in 2010. Moreover, the smartphone market will grow more than four times faster than the overall mobile phone market.

“Overall market growth in 2010 was exceptional,” said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. “Last year’s high market growth was 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.”

To capture the strong consumer demand for smartphones, manufacturers have unleashed a steady stream of new models and features over the past two years. The battle for mind and market share has also resulted in stiff competition among the smartphone operating systems.

“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. “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.”

Nokia’s recent announcement to shift from Symbian to Windows Phone will have significant implications for the smartphone market going forward. “Up until the launch of Windows Phone 7 last year, Microsoft has steadily lost market share while other operating systems have brought forth new and appealing experiences,” added Llamas. “The new alliance brings together Nokia’s hardware capabilities and Windows Phone’s differentiated platform. We expect the first devices to launch in 2012. By 2015, IDC expects Windows Phone to be number 2 operating system worldwide behind Android.”

For more information about IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 650-350-6423 or [email protected].

About IDC

IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For more than 47 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting

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  1. Android is gaining popularity rapidly and its sure that by 2015, it will acquire 50% share


  2. asinine. Android will be 50% long before 2015, and Windows Phone 7 will never get 21%

    1. Microsoft will probably give up on Win 7 mobile by then. As history has shown, if they cannot capture a dominant position in a market after a couple years they abandon it.

      As far as I’m concerned, Win 7 Mobile was doomed before they ever released it.

      1. they killed off WinMo and all its apps then took out Kin and Zune. The only people who seem to be interested in WP7 are colorblind C# developers.

  3. I say 80% till 2015! :-)

  4. if these super cool phones keep coming out…each smartphone owner will have their version of ANDROID. apple, rim and ms will be niche.

  5. No surprise that Android will be #1. Rumors of Microsoft’s death have been greatly exaggerated–usually by Apple, Inc.

  6. These types of analysts make little sense.

    People get new smartphones every year or two–they aren’t like PCs just yet where you keep them for many years.

    So, things can change very quickly in a course of two years within the smartphone market. I think that will slow once decent quad-core chips are out.

    1. In case you haven’t noticed, the PC market has become quite disposable as well. I am usually doing a wholesale upgrade every 2 to 3 years but in the mean time I am upgrading hard drives, DVD’s, CPU, memory.

      1. even iMac users upgrade their phones faster than that

  7. I wouldnt sleep on WP7. Ppl thought the same things about the iPhone and Android when they both first came out.

    Look what happened with those 2.

  8. Says “I Don’t Care”. Lol IDC.

  9. I don’t know. . . I think Android has a potential pitfall if Google doesn’t do something about the proprietary nature of Android on OEM devices–they need to force OEM’s to give users and option to get an optimized stock Android OS on the device somehow without voiding the warranty and have it supported by Google so it gets updates asap. . . .

    Otherwise if MS puts out a decent Win8 OS that works on phone, tablet, and desktop and doesn’t lock down the OS like iOS or Samsung Touchwiz, etc.. . it will be hard to stay away from that. In other words, you would be able to have a device with a “clean install” of the OS, the OS is updated asap via one party, etc. . .. that’s saying IF MS can do it which may be asking a bit much.

  10. Up yers Crapple iDud fanbois!

    Oh yeah, forgot that you like it that way…

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