The Android operating system is likely to have 45 per cent of the smartphone market by 2016, according to the latest figures from analyst firm ABI Research.
The Google operating system has already made a successful launch into the market, growing its share of users by 71 per cent in the past year alone.
This growth will continue, ABI Research added, helped by the demise of rival software.
"Android, Samsung's Bada and BlackBerry have a great opportunity to fill the vacuum being left by the disappearance of the Symbian OS within the next two years," explained senior analyst Michael Morgan.
Apple's iOS is also expected to grow in use, but only moderately. While Android will enjoy a 45 per cent market share, Apple will have just 19 per cent.
BlackBerry maker RIM will lose share, but only because the market will be increased through the introduction of more consumer-friendly handsets from other operators.
"RIM's slight loss of share doesn't mean falling shipments," said ABI vice president Kevin Burden. "RIM has found its niche, but the consumer market will grow faster than its portion of it."
This consumer market may be increased by Windows Phone 7 and Bada, which ABI said are suited low- to mid-range handsets. However, Windows Phone 7 faces the biggest challenges.
"With four million units shipped in 2010 (amounting to a 1.5 per cent market share), Bada has taken off very well, very fast," Morgan said.
"Bada may reach 10 per cent market share by 2016. Windows Phone 7, on the other hand, which shipped in two million handsets in Q4 2010, will have to find incredible success through its Nokia channel to take more than seven per cent of the market by 2016."
Here, ABI's findings run counter to earlier predictions from IDC which gave Microsoft second place in the shipment stakes by 2015.
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