London based research firm Ovum is looking into the future to compute that 1.7 billion smartphones will be shipped in 2017. According to the firm, smartphone shipments will grow at a 24.9% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2011-2017. The overall CAGR for the entire mobile phone market during that same time period is estimated to reach 6.3% thanks to demand from emerging markets.
Ovum's principal analyst, Adam Leach, says that it will be Android leading the way in the global smartphone market. Leach said that while it was the Apple iPhone which "defined the market" since its launch in 2007, Android has since huge growth in shipments indicating strong demand from global handset manufacturers. Ovum says that the momentum which has taken Android from a 17% share of the world-wide smartphone market in 2010 to 44% last year, will continue with the green robot tallying a 48% slice of the smartphone pie by 2017. This works out to a compounded annual growth rate of 26.8% during the period.
Behind Android will be Apple with iOS ringing up a 27% marketshare in 2017, up from last year's 23%. Not only does Leach expect Apple to still be a "key player and innovator" when it comes to smartphones, the analyst sees Microsoft making Windows Phone a relevant brand by 2017. Thanks to Nokia, Leach sees Windows Phone with 13% of the smartphone market by 2017 followed by 10% for RIM.