IDC: Android, Windows Phone to rule mobile

Market researcher predicts that Google's Android will easily outpace all rivals by 2015--and that Windows Phone 7 will be No. 2, thanks to its recent deal with Nokia.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read

Android and Windows Phone will reign supreme in the smartphone market in the not-too-distant future, a new IDC report claims.

According to the market researcher, more than 450 million smartphones will ship in 2011, up from the 303.4 million units last year. IDC predicts that Android will account for 39.5 percent of all smartphone shipments this year, easily besting Symbian's 20.9 percent market share. Apple's iOS platform is expected to be running on 15.7 percent of the smartphones shipped in 2011. RIM's BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7/Windows Mobile will round out the top five with 14.9 percent and 5.5 percent market share in 2015, respectively.

IDC's 2011 expectations likely won't surprise many folks. But its 2015 estimates will.


The research firm contends that Android will have 45.4 percent market share in 2015. It will be followed by Microsoft's Windows Phone platform with 20.9 percent market share. The compound annual growth of Microsoft's platform over the next four years is expected to be 67.1 percent, IDC said. Apple's iOS and Research In Motion's BlackBerry platform will own 15.3 percent and 13.7 percent of the smartphone market, respectively.

Microsoft's expected gains in the smartphone market aren't by chance. The company's market share boost will be due mainly to its recent partnership with Nokia, which will be using Windows Phone 7 as the "principal" operating system in its smartphones likely starting in 2012.

"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," Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst on IDC's Mobile Devices Technology and Trends team, said today in a statement. "The new alliance brings together Nokia's hardware capabilities and Windows Phone's differentiated platform...By 2015, IDC expects Windows Phone to be the No. 2 operating system worldwide behind Android."