IDC Says Global Smartphone Shipments will Approach 1 Billion by 2015

According to the latest Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report from International Data Corporation (IDC), the global smartphone market is on pace to grow 55% in 2011 (472 million shipments). But over the next four years, IDC says smartphone shipments will reach unprecedented new heights. By 2015, IDC estimates that worldwide smartphone shipments will reach 982 million.

The rapidly expanding smartphone market, IDC claims, will grow more than four times the rate of the overall mobile phone market this year. Why? Helping drive sales are falling average prices, increased phone functionality, and lower-cost data plans.

“The smartphone floodgates are open wide,” said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC’. “Mobile phone users around the world are turning in their ‘talk-and-text’ devices for smartphones as these devices allow users to perform daily tasks like shopping and banking from anywhere. The growth trend is particularly pronounced in emerging markets where adoption is still in its early days. As a result, the growth in regions such as Asia/Pacific and Latin America, will be dramatic over the coming years.”

By comparison, only 305 million smartphones shipped in 2010.

“Underpinning smartphone growth is the rapidly shifting operating system landscape,” adds Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC’s Mobile Phone Technology and Trends team. “End-users are becoming more sophisticated about what kinds of experiences are offered by the different operating systems. Taking this as their cue, operating system developers will strive for more intuitive and seamless experiences, but will also look to differentiate themselves along key features and characteristics.”

To read the full report from IDC and review the breakdown of smartphones that will lead the predicted growth of the industry at large, click here.