Smartphone sales projections raised; 5 OS players to co-exist

Source: IDC.

The worldwide market for converged mobile devices (also commonly referred to as smartphones) is expected to grow 55.4% this year compared to 2009 amid greater-than-expected demand for the do-it-all devices.

This is 10% higher than the previous forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

IDC now expects mobile phone vendors to ship 269.6 million converged mobile devices this year compared to the 173.5 million units shipped in 2009.

The increased market forecast for smartphones comes amid the launch of several new models, such as the BlackBerry Torch, EVO 4G, and the iPhone 4, in recent months.

No one smartphone OS will dominate mobile phones in the way that Microsoft has with Windows on the personal computer. “IDC believes the market will comfortably support up to five OS players over the next five years,” Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC noted.

“Shorter replacement cycles and an ample feature phone to smartphone upgrade opportunity means the smartphone OS market will remain fragmented but healthy for the foreseeable future.”

Symbian will maintain its number one standing throughout the forecast period with 32.9% share in 2014.

However, it will lose share, primarily to Android, which is expected to grow its share fastest over the forecast period, rising from 16.3% to 24.6%.

Meanwhile, Windows Mobile is expected to regain some of the share it has lost over the past two years and BlackBerry’s share will remain relatively constant while that of iOS will decline gradually.

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