New figures from research firm IDC show that smartphone shipments and mobile phone accessories are rising rapidly, with the worldwide smartphone market expected to increase 55 percent this year.
According to the report, vendors will ship approximately 472 million smartphones this year, a sizable increase over the 305 million last year. And that number is showing no signs of slowing, as IDC predicted smartphone shipments to approach 1 billion by 2015.
"The smartphone floodgates are open wide," said IDC senior research analyst Kevin Restivo in press release. "Mobile phone users around the world are turning in their 'talk-and-text' devices for smartphones as these devices allow users to perform daily tasks like shopping and banking from anywhere."
As others before it have predicted, IDC said it foresees Google's Android becoming the biggest name in smartphone operating systems, accounting for 38.9 percent on the market this year. Symbian will also represent a sizable portion of 20.6 percent. However, that figure is expected to slip dramatically to 0.1 percent by 2015, as Nokia partners with Microsoft.
Demonstrating the monumental growth of the market, many smartphones have already been released this year, including devices from HTC, Motorola and Samsung. Later this year, Research In Motion, Toshiba and Apple will are expected to introduce new handsets.