Worldwide Mobile Phone Growth Expected to Drop to 1.4% in 2012 Despite Continued Growth Of Smartphones, According to IDC

  Worldwide Mobile Phone Growth Expected to Drop to 1.4% in 2012 Despite
  Continued Growth Of Smartphones, According to IDC

Business Wire

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. -- December 04, 2012

The worldwide mobile phone market is forecast to grow 1.4% year over year in
2012, the lowest annual growth rate in three years despite a projected record
number of smartphone shipments in the high-volume holiday season. According to
the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone
Tracker, vendors will ship more than 1.7 billion mobile phones this year. In
2016, IDC forecasts 2.2 billion mobile phones will be shipped to the channel.

Global smartphone volume in the fourth quarter of 2012 (4Q12) is expected to
reach 224.5 million units, representing 39.5% year-over-year growth due
primarily to strong consumer demand. For the year, smartphone shipments are
forecast to grow 45.1% year over year to 717.5 million units. Strong
smartphone growth is a result of a variety of factors, including steep device
subsidies from carriers, especially in mature economic markets where carriers
resell the majority of smartphones, as well as a growing array of sub-US$250
smartphones in emerging markets.

"Sluggish economic conditions worldwide have cast a pall over the mobile phone
market this year," said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC's
Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. "However, the fourth quarter will be
relatively bright due in part to sales of high-profile smartphones, such as
the iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S3, in addition to lower-cost
Android-powered smartphones shipped to China and other high-growth emerging

Smartphone Operating Systems

"Underpinning the worldwide smartphone market is a constantly shifting mobile
operating system landscape," added Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC's
Mobile Phone team. "Android is expected to stay in front, but we also expect
it to be the biggest target for competing operating systems to grab market
share. At the same time, Windows Phone stands to gain the most market share as
its smartphone and carrier partners have gained valuable experience in selling
the differentiated experience Windows Phone has to offer. What bears close
observation is how BlackBerry's new platform, BlackBerry 10, and multiple
versions of Linux will affect the market once the devices running these
systems are available."

IDC forecasts Android to be the clear leader in the smartphone mobile
operating system race, thanks in large part to a broad selection of devices
from a wide range of partners. Samsung is the leading Android smartphone
seller though resurgent smartphone vendors LG Electronics and Sony, both of
which cracked the top five smartphone vendors during 3Q12, are not to be
overlooked. IDC believes the net result of this will be continued double-digit
growth throughout the forecast period.

iOS will maintain its position as the clear number two platform behind Android
at the end of 2012 and throughout the forecast. The popularity of the iPhone
across multiple markets will drive steady replacements and additional carrier
partners will help Apple grow iOS volume. However, the high price point of the
iPhone relative to other smartphones will make it cost prohibitive for some
users within many emerging markets. In order to maintain current growth rates,
Apple will need to examine the possibility of offering less expensive models,
similar to its iPod line. Until that happens, IDC forecasts iOS to ship lower
volumes than Android.

The BlackBerry OS will grow slowly but largely maintain share over the coming
years following the BlackBerry 10 launch next year. The new operating system
and devices will be valued by some longtime BlackBerry fans, particularly
those who have waited for the new OS as Research In Motion delayed its
release. This will allow the company to maintain pockets of strength in
higher-growth emerging markets such as Indonesia and various Latin American
countries. But, as with many other new platforms, the success of BB 10 will be
partly dependent upon channel advocacy, like sales associates who can
effectively tell the BlackBerry story.

Windows Phone will battle with BlackBerry for the number three spot in 2013,
but will gain further clarity in the years that follow. Windows Phone will
build on the progress it made in 2012, with Nokia establishing its presence
and HTC solidly jumping back into the race. Moreover, contributions by
Samsung, ZTE, and Huawei will help grow its footprint. With more vendors
releasing more devices aimed at multiple segments, sales associates will be
better positioned to tell a compelling Windows Phone story and to explain the
value of Windows Phone's differentiated experience compared to market leaders
Android and iOS.

Linux will trail the market leaders throughout our forecast though it is
expected to be the dark horse of the forecast. K-Touch has quietly built its
Linux volumes this year while Haier recently released its first Linux
smartphones. In addition, multiple platforms are expected to announce and
launch their Linux-based smartphones in 2013, including Samsung's Tizen and
Jolla's SailFish. Benefiting these platforms are their ties to previous
platforms from the LiMo Foundation and Nokia's MeeGo, which could lead to
greater developer interest.

Top Smartphone Operating Systems, Forecast Market Share and CAGR, 2012–2016

Smartphone OS        2012 Market        2016 Market    CAGR 2012 -
                        Share                 Share             2016 (%)
Android                 68.3%                 63.8%             16.3%
iOS                     18.8%                 19.1%             18.8%
BlackBerry OS           4.7%                  4.1%              14.6%
Windows Phone           2.6%                  11.4%             71.3%
Linux                   2.0%                  1.5%              10.5%
Others                  3.6%                  0.1%              -100.0%
Total                   100.0%                100.0%            18.3%

Source: IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, December 3, 2012

In addition to the table above, a graphic illustrating the relative market
shares of the top 5 smartphone operating systems in 2011, 2012, and 2016 is
available at The chart is intended for public use in online news
articles and social media. Instructions on how to embed this graphic can be
found by viewing this press release on

For more information about IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker,
please contact Kathy Nagamine at 650-350-6423 or

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About IDC

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International Data Corporation
Kevin Restivo, 416-673-2230
Ramon T. Llamas, 508-935-4736
Michael Shirer, 508-935-4200
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