long term forecasts given the volatility of the smartphone market. Nobody, neither Gartner nor IDC, predicted the meteoric rise of Android and iOS, thus making their four-year projections (measured to a decimal point) laughable, to say the least. Shorten that timeline to the end of the year, however, and the accuracy of these forecasts tends to increase dramatically.
Gartner just released its smartphone projections that align very closely with the numbers released by IDC a few weeks ago. Both research firms see Nokia hemorrhaging its smartphone dominance in 2011 after announcing plans to adopt the Windows Phone platform. Gartner sees Symbian pulling in a remarkably low 19.2 percent (down from 37.6 percent in 2010 or an impressive 46.9 percent share held back in 2009) regardless of Nokia's insistence that it still has some 150 million Symbian handsets to ship -- IDC, as you'll recall, was a bit more gracious with a 20.9 percent projection for Symbian in 2011. Like IDC, Gartner sees Microsoft making a dramatic comeback just as soon as Nokia can flood its global channels with mid-tier handsets by the end of 2012 with the Windows Phone operating system ultimately rising to the number two spot in global marketshare (Gartner says 19.5 percent to IDC's 20.9 percent) by, eh hem, 2015. Gartner expects the iOS smartphone slice to peak with a 19.4 percent share (to IDC's 15.7 percent) in 2011 before dipping a bit under the strain of an Android juggernaut and Apple's reluctance to sacrifice margins (and profits) for market share. Gartner expects Android to increase the 22.7 market share it enjoyed in 2010 to 38.5 percent in 2011 (compared to the IDC's slightly more aggressive 39.5 percent share) on the way to dominating the competition with a 49.2 percent share in 2012. Bringing up the rear then is RIM with an estimated chunk of just 13.4 percent in 2011 (compared to 16 percent in 2010) with further declines through 2015 even after the BlackBerry maker migrates to QNX in 2012. Ouch.
As for WebOS: sorry HP, you're in the "other" category along with Bada.