Weak economic conditions worldwide will hold the mobile phone market to its lowest growth level in three years in 2012, according to a new forecast from IDC. The technology research firm projects the mobile phone shipments will increase only 1.4% this year despite strong demand for smartphones.
Smartphone shipments are expected to grow 39.5% to 224.5 million units in the fourth quarter, and 45.1% for the full year to a record 717.5 million. IDC predicts Android will end the year with a whopping 68.3% share of the smartphone market, with iOS a distant second at 18.8%. BlackBerry will fall to 4.7%, and Windows Phone will have just 2.6%.
Looking further ahead, the firm foresees little change in Android’s dominance, projecting 63.8% market share in 2016. The biggest shift would be a jump in Windows Phone’s share from 2.6% to 11.4% in four years. iOS would remain at No. 2, with 19.1%.