Smartphone growth will slow in 2011, says IDC

Smartphone growth will slow in 2011, says IDC
While global sales of smartphones will continue to increase, they will do so at a much slower pace this year, according to International Data Corp. (IDC). They predict that in 2011, smartphones will grow by 49%, which is far less than the 74% growth in 2010.

IDC explains that the recession is responsible for the shift in growth rates: "Last year's high market growth was due in part to pent-up demandfrom a challenging 2009, when many buyers held off on mobile phone purchases." So now that those reluctant consumers felt comfortable enough to buy smartphones in 2010, they will be less likely to do so in 2011.

In line with most analysts' predictions, IDC sees Android grabbing a vast lead by 2015 with 45.4% (from 39.5%). But somewhat surprisingly, they predict that Apple's iOS will slip to 15.3% (from 15.7%). Of course, they also see BlackBerry losing some ground, and Symbian obviously vanishing after it's no longer part of Nokia's lineup.

Their most interesting prediction, which mirrored that of one Ovum analyst, regarded Windows Phone 7. They see the combined Windows Phone 7 and Windows Mobile market share rising from 5.5% to 20.9% by 2015, making it the second largest smartphone OS. And they attribute this growth to Nokia's vast production capacity.

source: IDC via Bloomberg



1. zcarman

Posts: 4; Member since: Aug 21, 2009

Is it just me or shouldn't you really just call this a duh article? It has nothing to do with anything more than most of the major carriers discontinuing their 12 month upgrade programs. Why did most user's upgrade after 12 months? Because they got the discount over and over again every year. With Sprint and Verizon discontinuing their NE2 and Premiere program discounts, it would cost a normal smartphone user about $600 a year to keep up with a device every 12 months or $200 every 22 months. Everyone jumped on board last year during the smartphone craze, nobody will be due for an update until next year, thus causing a slump in sales for the current year.

2. SemperFiV12

Posts: 949; Member since: Nov 09, 2010

Thats a good point, but I'm sure that Sprint and VZW will incorporate another program similar to the NE2 and Premiere program, to continue to add to sales - but more so to lock customers for another year, with early contract renewals. VZW said they took down the program initially because it was complicated for customers. Im guessing they simplify another, similar program. These companies do NOT make money on phone sales, rather service sales. Offering upgradable phone annually per plan should not be a big deal.

4. haroonazeem638

Posts: 141; Member since: Mar 29, 2011

well, it seems like in Canada it is. The upgrade policy changed from one year to 2 years and then suddenly to 3 years. Canada has 3 year contracts unlike the 2 year contracts that you guys have. Plus, we cannot upgrade before 3 years. GREAT! Smartphone sales are definately going to go down here.

6. thatguy unregistered

Sprint didnt get rid of their "new every two" consumers on Sprint Premier gold get a full upgrade (new customer pricing) every 12 months. Sprint premier silver customers get 75$ upgrade at 12 months, and 150 at 22 months. The 150 upgrade is the same as new customer pricing.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.