IDC raises its forecast by 10 per cent

Smartphones to see over 50% growth this year

Research firm IDC has said raised its outlook for "converged mobile devices" to 269.6 million units this year.

The increase of 10 per cent means that 2010 is expected to close with a 55.4 per cent growth in the smartphone market versus 2009. IDC said the boost was due to the launch of several new models such as the BlackBerry Torch, EVO 4G and the iPhone 4.

"The smartphone is the catalyst behind the rebound in the worldwide mobile phone market this year," said IDC mobile phone research analyst Kevin Restivo. "Additional product introductions and an expected flurry of smartphone buying activity in the second half of the year will push the market well above previous expectations."

IDC also said that the outlook for 2011 is also "very strong", despite concerns of a faltering economic recovery. The market research firm prediced that the smartphone market would increase 24.5 per cent in 2011. The firm also claimed that no one smartphone OS would gain dominance.

"IDC believes the market will comfortably support up to five OS players over the next five years," Restivo said. "Shorter replacement cycles and an ample feature phone to smartphone upgrade opportunity means the smartphone OS market will remain fragmented but healthy for the foreseeable future."

However IDC mobile devices technology and trends analysts Ramon Llamas said: "Android is the wild card, deserving close observation for the rest of this year and the years to come." Llamas said that smartphone makers had been drawn to Android due to the customisation possibilities and that the consumers had quickly warmed to Android as a viable iOS competitor.

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