IDC: Symbian should keep dominating the market, Android to take second

We have absolutely no idea what kind of voodoo, pseudoscience, and black magic goes into making an analyst-grade industry forecast, but considering that our local weather dude can barely tell us whether it'll be raining in a few hours -- much less a year or two from now -- you've got to take these sorts of things with a healthy dose of skepticism. That said, we're finding it pretty notable here that IDC's latest worldwide smartphone shipment forecast through 2013 has Symbian continuing to dominate the field of ever-stronger competitors thanks "primarily to the strength of Nokia in markets outside of the United States," while Android will surge past Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, and iPhone to become number two in the world on shipments of some 68 million devices. Falling back a bit in IDC's Utopian vision are generic Linux devices along with webOS, which -- while "growing steadily" -- will be held back by a wee number of carrier partnerships. Everything that IDC's saying seems plausible enough, and we've got every reason to believe that Android's going to continue to heat up -- particularly with four of the top five mobile players (Nokia notably excluded) devoting significant portions of their smartphone lineups to the platform over the coming months. As for Symbian, it's an absolute juggernaut by any measure, so we can see it staying king for a while even in a complete vacuum of serious innovation -- it'll just be interesting whether to see Nokia and the Foundation can keep these hungry upstarts firmly in their rear-view mirror for much of the decade.