By 2016 the global smartphone market will have doubled to 653 million shipments, according to a new forecast by research company Ovum.
Android will be the dominant platform by this time, the new report predicts, with a huge 38 per cent of the market share compared to second placed Apple’s 17.5 per cent.
Asia-Pacific will be the largest region for smartphone shipments, annually totalling 200 million units in five years’ time, ahead of western Europe and North America with 175 million and 165 million shipments respectively.
Ovum Principal Analyst Adam Leach said: “The smartphone market will see significant growth over the next five years, once again outperforming the wider mobile phone market.
“The success of the Android platform is being driven by the sheer number of hardware vendors supporting it at both high and low ends of the market.”
Android will be leading platform for a technology poised to become the industry standard, with 40 per cent of the mobile phone market set to be smartphones by 2016.
HTC handsets, powered by the Android system, have come to dominate the smartphone market and the launch of an Android appstore by Amazon further strengthens the platform’s position.
Although second in terms of market share by 2016, Apple’s iOS handsets will be closely followed by Windows Phone with 17.2 per cent and Blackberry OS with 16.5 per cent.
The partnership between Nokia and Microsoft will reduce the sales of the Symbian-based handsets as the companies focus on the Windows Phone.
Leach continued: “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.”