IDC released their latest forecast today, claiming smartphone shipments would reach 472 million this year (versus 305 million in 2010, marking 55% growth) and skyrocket to 982 million by the end of 2015. IDC’s forecast of Windows Phone overtaking iPhone and BlackBerry market share by 2015 holds steady, along with their prediction that Symbian growth will drop off by that time (though Nokia is still dedicated to supporting the installed base for awhile).
While it’s interesting to see how the smartphone market share might be carved up in the long run, the real battle for the next couple of years will be getting feature phone users to switch to smartphones. Being in the technological fast lane, it’s easy to forget that dumbphones still constitute the vast majority of mobile penetration worldwide. As such, platforms with a solid entry-level strategy like Android are in a position to scoop up feature phone owners making the big leap. Of course, manufacturers aiming at the lower end will enjoy slimmer margins, but unless you’re Apple, it’s unlikely you’ll see high volume when pushing top-tier smartphones. Regardless, this forecast spells good news for the entire industry, whoever ends up being the biggest winners.