IDC recently published their forecast for the worldwide smartphone market, and they foresee 450 million units shipping in 2011 compared to 303 million last year; that translates to 49% growth, which is four times more than the overall mobile market. IDC claims Android will snatch up 45% of the worldwide smartphone market share by 2015, though to be honest, that sounds a little conservative, considering Android already claims 39% according to the IDC’s own research, though others have pegged it closer to 29%. For the same time period, BlackBerry and the iPhone’s iOS are likely to hold their ground at 13% and 15% respectively, Symbian is to all but disappear, and Windows Phone 7’s market share will grow significantly from 5.5% to 20.9% thanks in no small part to the Nokia deal.
That would put Windows Phone ahead of BlackBerry and iPhone in terms of market share by the time 2015 rolls around, which is a little hard to swallow, but like Android, WP7 appeals to multiple manufacturers. Motorola is the only one who hasn’t been particularly interested in making a Windows Phone, leaving HTC, Samsung, and LG to explore alternatives to Google’s mobile OS. I worry that supporting a second smartphone OS will split manufacturer attention and lead to slower updates across the board, but I guess that’s the price you pay for a diverse phone selection.