Smartphone market to expand by 50 per cent in 2011

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IDC research suggests total shipment of devices will grow to 450 million this year, also adding that Android will be the top operating system by years end

The worldwide smartphone market is expected to grow by 49.2 per cent or four times faster than the overall mobile phone market this year according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).

IDC says its research shows that smartphone vendors will ship more than 450 million smartphones in 2011 compared to 303.4 million in 2010.

IDC senior research analyst Kevin Restivo said: “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.”

Meanwhile IDC says Android is “poised” to take over as the leading smartphone operating system by the end of the year.

IDC senior research analyst Ramon Llamas said: “ 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 recently announced shift from Symbian to Windows Phone will also have significant implication for the smartphone market going forward according to Llamas.

“The new alliance brings together Nokia’s hardware capabilities and Windows Phone’s differentiated platform,” Llamas said.

“We expect the first devices to launch in 2012. By 2015, IDC expects Windows Phone to be number 2 operating system worldwide behind Android.”

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