Android driving record smartphone growth

Posted on March 24, 2011

The Asia-Pacific (AP) smartphone market will double in size by 2016 to hit shipments of 200 million, according to the latest forecast of technology research firm Ovum.

Globally, Ovum said the market will hit 653 million shipments, accounting for the 30% of shipments derived from the Asia-Pacific market.

It added that Android will drive the growth and will emerge as the dominant platform, dramatically outperforming Apple with a massive 20% lead on market share.

Smartphones will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12.5% between 2010 and 2016 and will account for approximately 32% of the mobile phone market in the Asia-Pacific alone.

"The smartphone market will see significant growth over the next five years, once again outperforming the wider mobile phone market," Ovum principal analyst Adam Leach said.

"We will see dramatic shifts in dominance for smartphone software platforms, with Android storming into the lead with 38.7% market share, compared to Apple iOS’ 19%, by 2016 in AP alone," he added.

Mr. Leach added that the success of the Android platform is being driven by the sheer number of hardware vendors supporting it at both the high and low ends of the market.

According to Ovum’s forecast, just behind Apple iOS will be Windows Phone, with 22.6% market share by 2016, followed by BlackBerry OS, with 9.2%.

“We expect at least one other platform to achieve mainstream success within the forecast period. This could be an existing player in the market such as Bada, WebOS, or MeeGo, or it could be a new entrant to the market place," said Mr. Leach.

He said the partnership between Nokia and Microsoft has redrawn the smartphone market and will result in a significant reduction in shipments of Symbian-based handsets as Nokia transitions to Windows Phone as its primary smartphone platform.

However, Nokia still expects to ship 76 million Symbian-based handsets so there will be shipments beyond 2012 and in some regions into 2016.

"For Microsoft the deal provides a committed handset partner that has the potential to make Windows Phone a mainstream smartphone platform. The risk to Microsoft is that other handset makers may choose not to compete with Nokia and may turn their backs on Windows Phone," Mr. Leach said.

Ovum is the ICT advisory brand of the Datamonitor Group, with a 25 year history of advising both enterprises and their suppliers on the business value of ICT.For inquiries on Ovum, please contact Tanisha Kuckreja at