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Ovum: Android to dominate smartphone growth, Windows Phone will beat BlackBerry

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 7:08PM EST

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In a press release on Friday, research firm Ovum stated that the smartphone market will double by 2016, led by devices running Google’s Android operating system. Ovum predicts that Android will drive smartphone growth moving forward, and that it will amass 38% of the global market by 2016. At that time, Apple will own 17.5% of the smartphone market and BlackBerry maker RIM will hold a 16.5% market share. Despite Nokia’s current seat at the top of the cell phone market, Ovum sees the Finnish giant only helping Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform to eek a 17.2% share of the smartphone market. While this would place Windows Phone in the No. 3 spot ahead of RIM’s BlackBerry OS, it also suggests that Nokia’s share will decline rapidly over the next five years. Ovum predicts that annual smartphone shipments will reach 653 million units by 2016. Hit the jump for the full press release.

Android to drive doubling of smartphone market by 2016

Android to drive doubling of smartphone market by 2016

  • Global shipments to hit 653 million by 2016
  • Android will take 38% market share compared to Apple’s 17.5%
  • Nokia–Microsoft deal re-draws the smartphone landscape

The global smartphone market will double in size by 2016 to hit shipments of 653 million, predicts Ovum in a new forecast*. Android will drive the growth and will emerge as the dominant platform, dramatically outperforming Apple with a massive 20.5 per cent lead on market share, finds the independent telecoms analyst.

Ovum predicts that smartphones will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 14.5 per cent between 2010 and 2016 and will account for approximately 40 per cent of the mobile phone market. Asia-Pacific will be the largest region, shipping just over 200 million units by 2016. Western Europe and North America will remain strong markets with 175 million and 165 million shipments respectively.

Ovum principal analyst Adam Leach said: “The smartphone market will see significant growth over the next five years, once again outperforming the wider mobile phone market. We will see dramatic shifts in dominance for smartphone software platforms, with Android storming into the lead with 38 per cent market share, compared to Apple iOS’ 17.5 per cent, by 2016.

“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.”

According to Ovum’s forecast, just behind Apple iOS will be Windows Phone, with 17.2 per cent market share by 2016, followed by BlackBerry OS, with 16.5 per cent.

Leach continued:  “We expect at least one other platform to achieve mainstream success within the forecast period. 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.”

According to Leach, the partnership between Nokia and Microsoft has redrawn the smartphone market and will result in a significant reduction in shipments of Symbian-based handsets as Nokia transitions to Windows Phone as its primary smartphone platform. However, Nokia still expects to ship 150 million Symbian-based handsets so there will be shipments beyond 2012 and in some regions into 2016.

Leach continued: “For Microsoft the deal provides a committed handset partner that has the potential to make Windows Phone a mainstream smartphone platform. The risk to Microsoft is that other handset makers may choose not to compete with Nokia and may turn their backs on Windows Phone.”

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.