According to Gartner, Worldwide smartphone sales will reach 468 million units in 2011, a 57.% increase from 2010. And, by the end of 2011, Android will move to become the most popular operating system (OS) worldwide and will build on its strength to account for 49% of the smartphone market by 2012.
Gartner predicts that Apple's iOS will remain the second biggest platform worldwide through 2014 despite its share deceasing slightly after 2011.
And, the Windows Phone platform will control 19.5% of the worldwide smartphone market by 2015, overtaking Apple's iPhone. According to Gartner, Microsoft's strategic partnership with Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia will drive wider adoption of a variety of Windows Phone models over the next several years.
Gartner isn't the only independent market research firm predicting higher market share for Windows Phone. In late March, IDC predicted that Windows Phone will vault into the number two spot worldwide by 2015 with nearly 21% of the market.
"Nokia's recent announcement to shift from Symbian to Windows Phone will have significant implications for the smartphone market going forward. "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," added Llamas. "The new alliance brings together Nokia's hardware capabilities and Windows Phone's differentiated platform. We expect the first devices to launch in 2012. By 2015, IDC expects Windows Phone to be number 2 operating system worldwide behind Android.""