The worldwide smartphone market is expected to grow 49.2 percent in 2011 as more consumers and enterprise users turn in their feature phones for smartphones with more advanced features.According to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, smartphone vendors will ship more than 450 million units in 2011, compared to the 303.4 million shipped in 2010.
IDC also predicts the smartphone market will grow more than four times faster than the overall mobile phone market. “Overall market growth in 2010 was exceptional,” says senior research analyst Kevin Restivo. The high market growth was due in part to “pent-up demand from a challenging 2009, when many buyers held off on purchases.”
Restivo expects the market growth for 2011, while still notable, will taper off somewhat from that experienced in 2010.
In Australia smartphone shipments surged 101 percent year-on-year in Q4 2010, with 2.64 million devices shipped, according to IDC Australia (CDN, Friday).
Globally, IDC forecasts Android will take over as the leading smartphone operating system in 2011 after racing into the number 2 position in 2010.
“For the vendors who made Android the cornerstone of their smartphone strategies, 2010 was the coming-out party,” says Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC’s Mobile Devices Technology.
“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 Phones will also have significant implications for the smartphone market.
By 2015, IDC expects Windows Phone to be No. 2 operating system worldwide behind Android.