With 2016 now starting to draw to a close, there are a number of reports beginning to emerge on how the year as a whole will likely look once all is said and done. For instance, the IDC released a new report earlier today which states that they expect 2016 to see worldwide smartphone shipments totaling 1.45 billion. According to the IDC, this will represent a year-over-year growth increase of 0.6%. Which the report further notes – while it is not the level of growth seen in 2015, it is still growth.
Interestingly though, what the report highlights as one of the more significant markers for 2016 is that the level of 4G smartphones that will have shipped will surpass one billion for the first time. According to the data predictions, the IDC expect that by the close of 2016, 1.17 billion 4G smartphone units will have been shipped. This represents a significant increase over last year (21.3-percent year-over-year), when the figure for 4G smartphone shipments stood at 967 million. As to be expected, the IDC attributes much of that growth to emerging markets as this year, they have significantly increased their level of 4G smartphone shipments with the 2016 prediction being 77-percent of units shipped. Which is in contrast to the 61-percent noted for the same regions in 2015. Although, some of the fueling of 2016's 4G shipment increase can also be attributed to mature markets as well, with the prediction that mature market levels will reach 94-percent for 4G smartphones in 2016, up from 85-percent in 2015. Which highlights the growth of 4G smartphones in both mature and emerging markets this year.
Moving past 4G for the moment and the same report also provides further insight into how the operating system (OS) market share is shaping up for 2016. According to the IDC's figures, Android will see shipments in 2016 totaling 1.22 billion. This equates to an 85-percent market share for 2016 and a 5.2-percent YoY level of growth. While in contrast, iOS is expected to see 2016 shipments of 206.1 million, which represents a 14.3-percent market share for the year, which in turn represent a negative YoY growth of 11-percent. Looking further forward and the IDC expects that by 2020 shipments of Android smartphones will total 1.46 billion, will adopt a market share of 85.6-percent and a year-over-year growth of 4.2-percent. Again, in contrast, iOS is expected to see 2020 shipments of 243.6 million, a market share of 14.2-percent and a year-over-year growth of 2.5-percent. By which point, both Windows Phone and 'Others' will each represent a mere 0.1-percent market share. You can see a breakdown of the main results from the latest IDC findings below.