The APAC smartphone market will double in size by 2016, according to a new forecast by telecommunications analyst Ovum. Ovum predicts the APAC market will hit shipments of 200 million by 2016, accounting for 30 percent of the global number of 653 million shipments. Android will be the main responsible for this growth and will outperform Apple, with a 20 percent lead on market share, Ovum adds. “The smartphone market will see significant growth over the next five years, once again outperforming the wider mobile phone market. We will see dramatic shifts in dominance for smartphone software platforms, with Android storming into the lead with 38 per cent market share, compared to Apple iOS’ 19 per cent, by 2016 in AP alone,” says Ovum principal analyst Adam Leach. “The success of the Android platform is being driven by the sheer number of hardware vendors supporting it at both the high and low ends of the market." The Windows Phone platform will be just behind Apple iOS, with 22 percent market share by 2016, followed by the BlackBerry OS, with 9 percent market share. “We expect at least one other platform to achieve mainstream success within the forecast period. This could be an existing player in the market such as Bada, WebOS, or MeeGo, or it could be a new entrant to the market place,” adds Leach. According to the analyst, the partnership between Nokia and Microsoft has redrawn the smartphone market and will result in a significant reduction in shipments of Symbian-based handsets as Nokia transitions to Windows Phone as its primary smartphone platform. “For Microsoft the deal provides a committed handset partner that has the potential to make Windows Phone a mainstream smartphone platform. The risk to Microsoft is that other handset makers may choose not to compete with Nokia and may turn their backs on Windows Phone,” adds the analyst.
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