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Smartphone Market To Grow By Roughly 50% This Year

The worldwide smartphone market is expected to grow 49.2% this year, four time faster than the overall mobile phone market. According to the IDC 'Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker', smartphone vendors will ship more than 450 million smartphones in 2011, or around 146.6 million more handsets compared to last year.

Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC, feels the overall market growth in 2010 was 'exceptional'. Restivo attributes this growth in part to pent-up demand from a challenging 2009, when many buyers held off on mobile phone purchases. As more consumers and enterprise users turn in their plain vanilla models for more feature-rich bets, phone manufacturers are also stepping up, releasing newer models, across various price points, it may be added. However, "the expected market growth for 2011, while still notable, will taper off somewhat from what we saw in 2010," Restivo predicts.

"Up until the launch of Windows Phone 7 last year, Microsoft has steadily lost market share while other operating systems have brought forth new and appealing experiences," said Ramon Llamas, another senior research analyst with IDC. Nokia's recent announcement to shift from Symbian to Windows Phone will have significant implications for the smartphone market going forward. Android is poised to take over as the leading smartphone operating system in 2011 after racing into the number two position in 2010. By 2015, IDC expects Windows Phone to be number 2 operating system worldwide behind Android.

By the end of 2011, an estimated one billion people around the world will be connected to the mobile web and 50% of all Americans will own a smartphone, according to a post by Google on the company's official blog. Mobile usage is now on a hockey-stick trajectory, says Google, because of the explosion of Web-enabled mobile devices (thank you Steve Jobs!). Searches on smartphones and tablets have increased by 4x in the last year, says the search giant.

125 years' worth of Angry Birds are currently played every day. Expect many more angry birds in the future, hurling themselves at scrambling pigs with a cache of stolen eggs.

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