IDC: By 2015, both Android and Windows Phone will beat Apple’s iOS in smartphone market share

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, in the press release. “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.

MacDailyNews Take: What about revenue share? 😉

“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, in the press release. “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.”

Worldwide Smartphone Operating System 2011 and 2015 Market Share and 2011-2015 CAGR (listed alphabetically)
ID Worldwide Smartphone OS 2011 and 2015
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, March 29, 2011

Source: IDC

MacDailyNews Take: iCal’ed for future use.


  1. @ChrissyOne

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  2. “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.”

    Seriously? Seriously?!!! I guess it had nothing to do with the introduction of the iPhone 4.

  3. so, let me get this straight… iOS will remain essentially flat, and perhaps loose share over the next 4-5 years? I mean, I know IDC has a slant, but that’s a pretty silly prediction.

  4. Yup. By 2025, iOS share will be down to 10%. By 2075, it will be down to 7%. By 2115, it is expected that iOS will have a negligible 7%. In the year 2525, if phones are still alive, iOS may cry.

  5. So iOS will have only hold 19% of the smartphone market, despite Apple owning about 80% (or more) of the tablet market, and about – what? – 85% of the “hand-held media device” market? Even if this happens, which seems highly unlikely, Apple will still be selling many more apps and much more related content than all the various phone makers/content sellers combined. Developers will fall all over themselves to develop for iOS. The fragmented, insecure Android platform is in trouble. Google’s recent decision to develop Honeycomb while ignoring the OS version for phones and delaying it indefinitely has already pissed a lot of Android fans off.

  6. If as these idiots assume that when WP7 steps into Symbian’s shoes that WP7 take over Symbian’s market share, it must follow that WP7 will also step into Symbian’s trending market share, which is down, way down. So, to say that WP7’s market share of 20.9% in 2015 will be identical to Symbian’s in 2011 is ASSinine. (misspelled on purpose – I know there are those of you who troll this site for misspellings and grammatical errors). WP7 lost market share from Windows Mobile. To expect it to somehow take off because it steps into Symbian’s shrinking shoes is ludicrosity (I know, not a real word. I was channeling Don King).

  7. I’m not an analyst but how would you come up with Windows phone having a larger share. Apple has owned the market and Windows never has–on what basis would you expect them to surpass Apple–would it be Microsoft’s sterling success in the phone market to date or . . . would it be the success of the Zune or the Kin? Why would you cede the largest market share to the company that has historically had the least success in the phone space.

    I don’t get it.

  8. IDC and its parent company IDG are making news once again.

    IDCs analysts generate the forecasts, whose outcomes are predicated on “informed” assumption, which are then handed off to IDG’s wags, i.e., Gruman, Reisinger, and Cringley X, Dvorak, et. al., who in turn will spin this every which way.

    We all know IDGs leadership is biased against Apple for the bitter dust-up in 2002.

    IDG predicted Steve Ballmer would leave Microsoft in 2011. Now why would he do that when his star is about to make its meteoric rise in the next couple of years, according to IDCs own numbers?

    If Ballmer leaves Microsoft, his replacement could very well knife this baby (M$/Nokia relationship) in its crib.

    Is it any wonder Microsoft has stumbled badly in the mobile space? They’re chained to the desktop and aren’t going to side step that meme overnight. Mobile computing is Microsoft’s hobby.

    The next CEO of Microsoft could smash any notion of Microsoft taking on a major role in mobile computing. It’s one thing to take on the mantle of platform dominance and quite another to sustain it, especially if you aren’t leading, innovating, and more importantly, embracing accepted standards.

    Microsoft is out of its league when it comes to the web/mobile meme. They were wrong about Scalable Vector Graphics and finally admitted as much when IE9 finally embraced basic SVG standards, as disclosed at SXSW.

    For the last ten years Microsoft has held back web development by insisting the world embrace their VML standard. We are just now beginning to realize the promises held for a 2D web experience, when we should have been standing on the threshold of 3D!

    The 3D web experience is possible with WebGL, a subset of OpenGL, and has been embraced by everyone except you-know-who. Gaaackk!

    WebGL could finally bring 3D imaging to HTML5! Imagine, web pages with depth?! Instead of the usual scrolling up and down and back and forth (in the X, Y-axis), imagine being able to scroll in and out along the Z-axis? Do you know what promise that holds for gaming and commerce?

    Microsoft sure does, that’s why they’ll probably come out shortly with yet another proprietary solution that will compete with open-standards, a product that is supported exclusively by DirectX 3D.

    I believe Microsoft will do everything in its power to hinder the proliferation of WebGL, simply because its not in their financial interest. Google, Mozilla, Apple, WC3, Kronos are pursuing WebGL because it will enhance not only the user experience, but lay a foundation for a not-for-profit web experience.

    I hope IDG is wrong about Ballmer. I hope he remains at the helm of the SS Microtanic.

  9. The problem with predictions like this is they look at things in isolation rather than in general terms. Do you really think iPhone growth will be below market growth? Or, how about the influence of other iOS devices like the iPad for example. So, maybe smartphone market share will be lead by Android (I’m not convinced this is will be the future, but let’s just say it’s “so” for the sake of argument). What impact will there be on market share for iOS devices if you include all iOS handheld devices (iPad, iPod touch, and iPhone)? The implied fear of this article is that Apple will once again be faced with a lower market share in the smart phone market, therefore, it will lose developers, therefore, it will not have its current market clout, therefore…? Also, remember this market was created by Apple as was the current state of the tablet market too. Who’s to say that Apple won’t be where the puck is in 2014? I frankly, don’t see Google or Microsoft having that kind of market leadership ability with either platform.

  10. It’s funny that IDC thinks Windows Phone 7 will move into the #2 spot based on phones that won’t even be released until 2012. They think they can gauge the future sales of a phone that’s a year away from release. They must be psychic. I’ve seen no indication that either consumers or businesses are intetrested in the many, many Windows Phone 7s already on the market. Why would yet another model (Nokia this time) change that?

    Second, IDC isn’t even considering the enormous impact of the CDMA iPhone in the USA. All of my family members who are on Verizon have already switched to iPhones. And long before 2015, the iPhone will be on Sprint as well.

  11. “By 2015, IDC expects Windows Phone to be number 2 operating system worldwide behind Android.”

    Based on what data points? The thundering success of Zune? The extraordinary sales rates of Kin? The amazing market response to Windows Phone ’07? The string of hit smartphones from Nokia? The incredible buzz surrounding Nokia’s work on Meego?

    There is absolutely no evidence that either Microsoft or Nokia has any clue what the customer wants in a mobile computing and communications device. Putting two clueless parties together does not make a genius. Or even a modest success. Generally, it leads to an expensive disaster.

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