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Trend: Smartphone Market to Grow by Nearly 50% in 2011

Wed Mar 30, 2011 - 5:45 PM EDT - By Annie Latham

Research firm IDC just released their Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker with a couple of notable data points.

> 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.

> Smartphone vendors will ship more than 450 million smartphones in 2011 compared to the 303.4 million units shipped in 2010.

> The smartphone market will grow more than four times faster than the overall mobile phone market.

Who will lead the pack? That's where it gets really interesting. According to Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC's Mobile Devices Technology and Trends team, "Android is poised to take over as the leading smartphone operating system in 2011 after racing into the number 2 position in 2010."

Another attention-getter -- IDC has Windows Phone 7/Windows Mobile overtaking Apple iOS by 2015. But upon further review, there is some logic behind this forecast due to the news of Nokia's shift from Symbian to Windows Phone.

Mr. Llamas remarked, "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."

The news that Nokia filed a second complaint with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) alleging that Apple “infringes additional Nokia patents in virtually all of its mobile phones, portable music players, tablets and computers" could be a contributing factor.

Yet another "stay tuned" story.


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