It would appear that the same forecast that we've been seeing for some time now with a variety of analysis groups remains true here with IDC, they showing 2012 through 2016 to be sustaining Android on top and iOS in second place across the planet. IDC's 2012 report also shows that not only has the smartphone segment of the mobile phone market at large been continuing to leap forward and up, but the entire mobile market has - surprise - taken a bit of a downturn. In 2012 the worldwide phone market has been forecast to grow just 1.4% year-over-year, this being what IDC calls the lowest annual growth rate in three years.
In 2012 the International Data Corporation (aka IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker has shown that vendors will ship more than 1.7 billion mobile phones throughout 2012. In the year 2016, IDC forecasts that this number will be up to a lovely 2.2 billion. Senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker Kevin Restivo had the following to say about this year through 2016:
"Sluggish economic conditions worldwide have cast a pall over the mobile phone market this year. However, the fourth quarter will be relatively bright due in part to sales of high-profile smartphones, such as the iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S3, in addition to lower-cost Androidpowered smartphones shipped to China and other high-growth emerging markets." - Restivo
Inside the Android universe, IDC notes that Samsung is likely to remain the leader in the smartphone segment, though "LG Electronics and Sony, both of which cracked the top five smartphone vendors during 3Q12, are not to be overlooked." They also make clear that they believe that RIM's BlackBerry won't die out, nor will it grow in a very giant way, sustaining itself instead with BlackBerry 10 through 2016 at least.
As for the 2012 market share, Android beat up the charts with a massive 68.3% while iOS was in a clear second with 18.8%, the rest of the entries getting less than 5% to their name. What's interesting here between 2012 and 2016 is the forecast for Windows Phone, it growing from a mere 2.6% to 11.4%, far and away the largest growth of any of the mobile operating systems on the chart. Meanwhile BlackBerry OS remains essentially the same, dropping just 0.6% and iOS grows 0.3% with Android going down 4.5% in 4 years. That's a 71.3% growth for Windows Phone while none of the other top hitters change more than 20% - imagine it!
IDC also notes that the iPhone will remain a big seller but that Apple may have to consider lower-priced options for emerging markets in the years to come or face losing potential sales to lower-priced Android phones that will inevitably be available. Windows Phone growth is also forecast to be continuing to be driven by Nokia first and foremost followed by HTC which is "solidly jumping back into the race."