More than 1 billion Android-powered smartphones will ship in 2017, with Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform growing its share to rival Apple’s iOS, according to analyst firm Canalys.
This will give Android a 67.1 per cent market share, down slightly from its 67.7 per cent in 2012 (which represented more than 470 million units).
Meanwhile Microsoft’s share of the market will grow to 12.7 per cent from 2.4 per cent, with it noted that “the scalability of Microsoft’s platform will be critical to its success” – it is already being used in low-end smartphones from Huawei and Nokia as well as higher-spec devices.
While Apple’s shipment volumes are forecast to grow, this will be at a slower rate than the total smartphone market, leading to a drop-off in market share.
Jessica Kwee, analyst for Canalys, said: “Apple’s growth will be curtailed by the fact that momentum in the smartphone market is coming from the low end, and Apple is absent from this segment.”
The research firm also said that the outlook for BlackBerry “remains positive”, with shipment volumes more than doubling, although market share will remain stable.
But for this to happen, the recovering Canadian smartphone maker has a number of challenges to address – including moving to BlackBerry 10-powered devices from BlackBerry 7 smartphones across price points, rebuilding its position in the US, and growing its presence in China.
In total, 1.5 billion smartphones will ship in 2017, accounting for 73 per cent of all mobile phone shipments.
Chris Jones, principal analyst at Canalys, said: “As component prices continue to fall, vendors will be able to deliver great experiences on smart phones at low price points, which means that in many markets, feature phones will become extinct.”