According to analysts at IDC and ComScore the smartphone industry is expected to grow fifty percent by the end of 2011. This itself is a drop from the seventy four percent growth of last year, but will still see with vendors shipping four hundred and seventy-two million smartphones in contrast to the three hundred and two million shipped in 2010. At this rate of growth, Smartphones are expected to control more than fifty percent of the mobile market by 2015.
Of these, according to some estimates, forty percent are to run Google’s Android OS, continuing their rise in the market, with Apple’s iOS at a twenty seven percent market share, RIM’s Blackberry at a twenty two percent and Microsoft’s Windows Mobile bringing up the tail with six percent, give or take. In terms of Mobile equipment, Samsung is projected to hold the largest market share with twenty five percent, LG with twenty, Motorola with fifteen and Apple and RIM both hovering above eight.
Two things are driving this growth, cheaper hardware and improving networks. In 2010 the cheapest non-contract smartphones sold for around 200 dollars. Today many of the lower cost smartphone models are being sold for 175 dollars or less, with development further lowering the prices. This will lower the need for contract subsidies and improve competition between network providers. Worldwide, Smartphones and tablets are set to surpass traditional computers as browsers as they move into emerging markets, where the relatively cheaper hardware would be easier to acquire than PCs or laptops.
This could potentially become a problem for carriers, as the flood of traffic increases the need for Cell Antenna. Along with the number of smartphones increasing, Data usage is increasing as well. From the first quarter of 2010 to 2011, the average smartphone data usage went up from 230 MB to 435 MB monthly, while data usage for the top 10 percent of smartphone users went up 109 percent while the top 1 percent has grown their usage by 155 percent from 1.8GB in 2010 to over 4.6GB in 2011.