Android To Overtake Symbian This Year, Says IDC

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Smartphone shipments are expected to break the 100 million mark in the Asia/Pacific region excluding Japan (APEJ), and IDC forecasts Android could claim the crown for leading the smartphone market by year end.


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The change is expected as feature phone users across all markets consider upgrading to smartphones in the wake of many more brands coming in at lower prices on Android, pulling up demand in emerging markets, says IDC.

The research company says the surge will lead to smartphone shipments hitting 137 million units in 2011, rising by a five year compound annual growth rate of 34 percent.

Melissa Chau, research manager at IDC, said:  “Smartphones were a hot item in 2010, with more than double the shipments of 2009. In 2011, IDC expects this fire to keep burning as mobile phone vendors race to get consumers on higher-margin devices, operators look to pull up revenues on mobile data, and mobile platform stakeholders battle to woo app developers.”

A lot of the demand in smartphones has so far come from mature markets, says IDC. In South Korea alone, smartphones have cranked up by a factor of 10 in 2010, largely thanks to Apple and Samsung. Nokia by contrast has been squarely focused on bringing Symbian OS phones down in price below US$200 for emerging markets like India and Vietnam.

 

However, for 2011, IDC says the number of mobile shipments will rise from 551 million units in 2010 to 942 million units. Although feature phones have grown 17 percent year on year in 2010, with low end players like ZTE in China and G-Five in India moving up the regional rankings for 2010, and entering the top 5 players, the shift to higher end units will result in smartphones growing eight times as fast as feature phones, to reach 359 million units by 2015. Three in five mobile phones shipped in 2015 will be smartphones, up from one in five in 2010, IDC states.

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