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Smartphone market to grow by almost 50% in 2011: Windows Phone 7 to rise to no. 2?

The IDC expects more than 450 million smartphones will be sold this year- up 49.2% from last year’s 303.4 million.

Ramon Llamas, a senior research analyst with IDC’s Mobile Devices Technology and Trends team, said: “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.

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.”

2015? We can’t even foresee what’s for lunch today, but sounds interesting. Will there be this many phone systems in four years?

They also expect worldwide growth in smartphones to be more than quadruple the speed of the overall mobile market.

Senior research analyst, Kevin Restivo, says in the report from IDC that, “Last year’s high market growth was due in part to pent-up demand from a challenging 2009, when many buyers held off on mobile phone purchases. The expected market growth for 2011, while still notable, will taper off somewhat from what we saw in 2010.”

From only start of this year- we’ve seen waves of new smartphones announced, some which we’ve only just got our hands on, while others aren’t yet here.

They’ve also spread out across the price ranges, with far more wallet-friendly models available from phone giants like HTC and Samsung, presumably due in part to the Google’s Android offering an app eco-system that’s a viable alternative to Apple’s iTunes might.

“Android is poised to take over as the leading smartphone operating system in 2011 after racing into the number 2 position in 2010,” said Llamas,

“For the vendors who made Android the cornerstone of their smartphone strategies, 2010 was the coming-out party. This year will see a coronation party as these same vendors broaden and deepen their portfolios to reach more customers, particularly first-time smartphone users.”

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