Android will be the dominant operating system over the next five years, with smartphone volumes to grow by almost a quarter by 2017, new research has claimed.
A report by Ovum has claimed there will be 1.7 billion smartphone owners by 2017, a growth of 24.9%. The research said emerging markets will fuel the growth but developed markets such as North America and Western Europe will be almost entirely made up by smartphones.
Android smartphones had a 44% share of the market in 2011, up from 17% in 2010. Android's share is estimated to hit 48% by 2017, and will far outpace Apple. Apple's iOS will be the second most popular platform, accounting for 27% of the smartphone market, up from 23% in 2011.
Ovum's principal analyst said: 'Android will dominate the smartphone market over the next five years. While Apple has defined the smartphone market since it introduced the iPhone in 2007, we’re now seeing a sharp rise in the shipment volumes of Android, signaling its appeal to leading handset manufacturers.'
The research claimed Windows Phone, driven by its partnership with Nokia, will account for 13% of smartphones by 2017, and RIM will hold 10% of the market.
Editor: Graeme Neill