World smartphone market up 50% this year

The worldwide smartphone market is expected to grow 49.2% in 2011 as more consumers and enterprise users turn in their feature phones for smartphones with more advanced features.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), smartphone vendors will ship more than 450 million smartphones in 2011 compared to the 303.4 million units shipped in 2010.

Moreover, the smartphone market will grow more than four times faster than the overall mobile phone market.

Overall market growth in 2010 was exceptional, said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

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.

To capture the strong consumer demand for smartphones, manufacturers have unleashed a steady stream of new models and features over the past two years. The battle for mind and market share has also resulted in stiff competition among the smartphone operating systems.

IDC adds that Android is poised to take over as the leading smartphone operating system in 2011 after racing into the number 2 position in 2010.

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