Research firm Ovum has published a rather interesting report detailing how it expects the smartphone market to evolve over the course of the next five years. Unsurprisingly, it backs Android to take pole position, with Apple next on the podium and Windows Phone 7 punching BlackBerry into fourth place.
Ovum predicts that global shipments of smartphones will reach 653 million by 2016, largely driven by Android. By that time, it reckons Google’s OS will hold 38% of the market share, with Apple on 17.5% and Microsoft’s WP7 not too far off at 17.2%. BlackBerry, meanwhile, will hold an estimated 16.5%.
Adam Leach, principal analyst with Ovum, explains: “The success of the Android platform is being driven by the sheer number of hardware vendors supporting it at both the high and low ends of the market.” Damn straight. There are literally hundreds of Android handsets, from cheap crap to super-duper dual-core goodness.
Leach expects another contender to emerge by 2016. “This could be an existing player in the market such as Bada, WebOS, or MeeGo, or it could be a new entrant to the market place.” Initially that might seem a little far-fetched, but remember how different things were five years ago? The iPhone was merely a twinkle in Apple’s eye, and Nokia was standing at the front of the Titanic declaring itself the King of the World.
Although Ovum predicts good things for Windows Phone 7, it’s not convinced that the highly publicised romance with Nokia is a good thing. “The risk to Microsoft is that other handset makers may choose not to compete with Nokia and may turn their backs on Windows Phone.”
Presumably we’ll all be flying around in hover cars by then, with robot servants running Android Yoghurt.