Market research outfit IDC said the smartphone market is expected to grow 49.2 per cent in 2011 as consumers and businesses drop feature phones and turn to smartphones.
While that hardly seems news, IDC did make the startling prediction that Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 would capture 20.9 per cent of the market by 2015. Currently combined Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7 is 5.5 per cent of the market.
Predicting that Microsoft OS-powered smartphones would knock Apple's iOS into third place, IDC researcher Ramon Llamas attributed the growth to Microsoft's partnership with Nokia.
"The new alliance brings together Nokia's hardware capabilities and Windows Phone's differentiated platform. We expect the first devices to launch in 2012. By 2015, IDC expects Windows Phone to be number 2 operating system worldwide behind Android," said Llamas.
However Information Weeks's Eric Zeman said that Windows Phone 7 handsets had been on sale for six months but had so far "failed to to set sales on fire."
Zemen derided IDC's 20.9 per cent Windows Phone prediction as "fiddlesticks."