Big Smartphone Growth Expected in 2011
Smartphones already seem to be everywhere these days, but according to a new report, the global smartphone market is expected to grow by nearly 50 percent by the end of the year as more people turn in basic phones that lack the ability to download apps and connect to the Internet for devices with advanced features.
According to the International Data Corporation, more than 450 million smartphones will be shipped in 2011 compared to the 303.4 million units shipped in 2010. Even more, the smartphone market is expected to 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 at IDC.
"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.
Android is poised to take over as the leading smartphone operating system in 2011 after racing into the number two position in 2010, the report said.
Nokia's recent announcement to shift from Symbian to Windows Phone will also 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," said Ramon Llamas, also a senior analyst with IDC. "The new alliance brings together Nokia's hardware capabilities and Windows Phone's differentiated platform."
The first of these devices are expected to launch in 2010. By 2015, IDC expects Windows Phone to be the second-largest operating system worldwide behind Android .
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