(Page 2 of 2)
"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."
IDC predicted iOS will maintain its position as the clear No. 2 platform behind Android at the end of 2012. That said, IDC also predicted the iPhone's high price point will make it cost-prohibitive for some users in emerging markets. IDC suggested Apple needs to examine the possibility of offering less expensive models, similar to its iPod line.
Windows Phone vs. BlackBerry
IDC also predicted BlackBerry OS will grow slowly but largely maintain share over the coming years following the BlackBerry 10 launch next year -- but Windows Phone will battle with BlackBerry for the No. 3 spot in 2013.
Windows Phone will build on the progress it made in 2012, with Nokia establishing its presence and HTC solidly jumping back into the race, IDC said. The market research firm expects contributions by Samsung, ZTE, and Huawei to help Microsoft 's cause.
Llamas said 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."