IDC raises 2010 smartphone shipment forecast to 270 million

Smartphones, smartphones, smartphones. Or “converged mobile devices”, to quote analysts. That’s where it’s at in the mobile industry, according to IDC’s latest Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

Unsurprisingly, it turns out that people love smartphones. Or at least they’re buying more and more each day.

In the first half of this year, 119.4 million smartphones were sold worldwide. That’s 55.5% more than the 76.8 million units sold in the first half of 2009.

IDC expect this trend to continue in the second half of this year, bringing the estimated total smartphone shipments in 2010 to 269.6 million, 55.4% more than last year’s 173.5 million.

Astonishing numbers indeed, and ones that will be achieved thanks in no small part to newly released devices such as the Apple iPhone 4, HTC Evo, Verizon’s Droid series, Samsung’s Galaxy range, and the BlackBerry Torch, to name just a few.

Smartphone sales are expected to grow a lot faster than the total number of phones sold, which is expected to only increase by 14.1% year-on-year. Last year, the market declined by 2.8%, which was a first in IDC’s Mobile Phone Tracker history.

The growth is said to continue throughout 2011, despite economic uncertainties. The smartphone market is expected to grow by 24.5% in 2011. However, smartphone growth will decline progressively from now to 2014. In 2014, the smartphone market is only expected to grow by 13.6%.

No one smartphone OS will dominate the space in the coming years in the same way that Windows is dominating the computer world. Here are IDC’s projections for smartphone OS market shares in 2014:

Symbian will maintain its leading position, while continuing to slowly lose market share. BlackBerry’s market share is projected to be almost flat (though, because of the overall growth of the smartphone market, RIM will see device shipment numbers increase). Android will overtake BlackBerry and reach second position, possibly posing a threat to Symbian in the (very) long run. Windows Mobile (or rather, Windows Phone) is expected to regain a bit of the market share it has lost in the past few years.

An interesting projection, although I do wonder how accurately one can predict what will happen in this space in 4 years, when one OS (Android) came from nowhere to almost No.2 in under two years. We’ll just have to wait and see, I guess.

Via Press Release

Author: Vlad Bobleanta

Share This Post On
  • Marcus Christopher McFann

    Why wasn’t the biggest part of this forecast, which I don’t totally buy, but find somewhat indicative of the current direction of the market? I’m talking about iOS and its continued free fall.

    Do you guys agree with this forecast? How do you think the developer community will respond to iOS plummeting to near single digit market share? Do you think it will cause the media focus and mindshare to leave Apple altogether? Would it likely force Apple to change its philosophy, and support more cross platform technologies, and maybe implement real multitasking?

    Also, how much do you think MeeGo will affect Symbian sales? I think it will cannabalize some Symbian sales, but the ecosystem being a shared one, it could also help bolster its growth, since apps are a draw to many consumers, and a hindrance to many in the US that may consider Symbian.