Worldwide smartphone sales are forecast to jump by 50% this year as consumers and businesses trade in their feature phones, according to IDC.
The market watcher estimates 450 million units will be shipped in 2011 - growth will be four times faster than the overall mobile phone sector - and this will be the year that the Android OS seizes a leadership position.
"For the vendors who made Android the cornerstone of their smartphone strategies, 2010 was the coming-out party," said Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst at IDC.
"This year will see a coronation party as these same vendors broaden and deepen their portfolios to reach more customers, particularly first-time smartphone users," he added.
Compound annual growth rates (CAGR) for the entire market between this year and 2015 are projected to grow 19.6% but Windows Mobile OS is forecast to rise 67.1%, to capture the number two place with 20.9% market share.
"Up until the launch of Windows Phone 7 last year, Microsoft has steadily lost market share while other OSs have brought together Nokia's hardware capabilities and Windows Phone's differentiated platform," said Llamas.
Blackberry and iOS are set for double digit CAGR rises in the timeframe but Symbian is expected to decline 65% in that time, with its market share collapsing from 20.9% to 0.2% following Nokia's shift to Windows Phone.