Smartphone makers have a reason to celebrate. Research firm IDC said it expects the smartphone market to grow 55 percent this year, a greater increase than its previous prediction.
IDC said it now expects handset vendors to ship 269.6 million smartphones this year, compared with the 173.5 million units shipped in 2009. The estimate is 10 percent higher than IDC had previously estimated. The research firm said the introduction of several new smartphones--including Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 4, Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry Torch and the HTC Evo--caused it to increase its forecast. The smartphone market also will be crowded by more phones running Google's Android platform, IDC said.
Overall, IDC said it expects the wider handset market to grow 14.1 percent in 2010, or 1.5 percent higher than its previous forecast. Last year the market fell by 2.8 percent, according to the firm.
IDC also predicted that in 2014 Android will blossom from 16.3 percent market share today to 24.6 percent in 2014. Appple's iOS will drop from 14.7 percent this year to 10.9 percent in 2014. According to IDC, Symbian, BlackBerry and Microsoft's platform will still make up 60 percent of the market in 2014.
As Harry McCracken of Technologizer notes, however, these long-term predictions should be taken with a grain of salt. In 2006, IDC failed to predict the 2010 picture because it did not account for the rise of the iPhone or Android.
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