Earlier in May, IDC noted that smartphone shipments in China contracted by 4% in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same quarter a year earlier.
While many analysts view China as an emerging market, IDC has taken the position that the smartphone market there is saturated, and that the the vast majority of phones sold there are smartphones.
Reith noted that half of the smartphone market in China comes from China-based companies which primarily use the Android OS. "Those domestic smartphone companies are scrambling for how to keep market momentum," he said.
Despite the positive outlook for Apple smartphones in 2015, IDC also predicted the iPhone's five-year annual growth rate through 2019, currently at 7.3%, will slightly lag behind Android, at 7.5%.
Android devices from a variety of manufacturers still continue to dwarf all shipments of iOS and others on a global scale. IDC believes Android will ship nearly 80% of all smartphones in 2015, or about 1.1 billion devices, with that number rising to 1.5 billion in 2019. By comparison, iOS shipments for 2015 should reach 16.4% of the total, or 237 million units, in 2015 and 14%, or 274 million, in 2019.
Windows Phone will remain at about 3.2% market share in 2015, shipping nearly 47 million phones, IDC said. Those numbers will increase to 5.4% in 2019, when Windows Phone will surpass 103 million smartphones shipped, IDC predicted.
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