Forecast Predicts Android to Be Dominant OS This Year

IDC has released updated numbers for its global smartphone forecast (2011- 2015). The firm expects nearly 50% growth in smartphone sales this year on a global basis:

Smartphone vendors will ship more than 450 million smartphones in 2011 compared to the 303.4 million units shipped in 2010. Moreover, the smartphone market will grow more than four times faster than the overall mobile phone market. 

During the forecast period IDC expects Apple and RIM to stay flat in terms of overall share. It expects Android to be the big winner becoming the dominant smartphone platform globally by the end of this year and continuing to grow through 2015. 

The company also expects that Windows Phones will gain share to reach 20% of the global market. That assumption is based on Nokia's embrace of Windows Mobile and it's global footprint. 

Here are the projections: 

Screen shot 2011-03-29 at 9.48.50 AM

Almost certainly these figures will turn out to be wrong in one or more ways. However the phenomenal growth of Android cannot be disputed.

Yet Samsung and Motorola, both key Android OEMs, are scheming to diversify their lineups and lessen their dependence on the Google OS. Samsung is pushing Bada and Motorola is contemplating its own OS. This is part of an broader effort to get out of the "commodity" Android realm. Thus far however Samsung has emerged as the global leader in Android handset sales.

If Android growth reaches the anticipated levels in this chart there are huge implications for mobile advertising revenues as well. Google already dominates mobile advertising in the US market. These growth projections would all but ensure continued and even increasing dominance, not only in North America but internationally as well.