Google's Android mobile-operating system should exceed 40 percent share of smartphones worldwide, with Samsung, HTC and Motorola leading the way with handsets based on the open-source platform, said IDC.
The market researcher said June 9 that Android, which Google said is available on more than 300 different smartphones and tablets with 100 million activated worldwide, could reach roughly 44 percent by 2015. Nielsen and comScore currently have pegged Android as having 36 percent share.
Noting that Android passed Nokia's struggling Symbian as the leading operating system worldwide in the fourth quarter last year, IDC said the growing list of vendors who have made "Android the cornerstone of their respective smartphone strategies is propelling the growth of Android."
The vendors include Samsung, HTC and Motorola, all of which have doubled their smartphone market share in the course of cranking out and selling various Android handsets.
Samsung in particular has revved up its Android gadget production, launching the Droid Charge, Infuse 4G and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in 2011, with the Galaxy S II devices slated for U.S. launch later this summer.
Apple's iOS has an 18 percent share, but it is expected to slip to 17 percent by 2015, while Research in Motion's BlackBerry stands at 14.2 percent and could slip to 13.4 percent over the next four years.
IDC claims Symbian, currently at 20.6 percent share, will almost disappear from the market by 2015 as Nokia continues to shift its focus to Microsoft's Windows Phone platform. IDC said that if all goes well with Nokia's transition to Windows Phone, the OS could grab more than 20 percent share in 2015. That's a big hike from the combined Windows Mobile/Windows Phone stake of 3.8 percent today.
Overall, IDC said the worldwide smartphone market is burgeoning and could grow 55 percent year-over-year in 2011, with vendors moving 472 million smartphones in 2011, compared with the 305 million units that shipped in 2010. That figure will nearly double to 982 million by the end of 2015.
"The smartphone floodgates are open wide," said IDC analyst Kevin Restivo. "Mobile phone users around the world are turning in their 'talk-and-text' devices for smartphones, as these devices allow users to perform daily tasks like shopping and banking from anywhere."
To push the mobile shopping niche to the mainstream, Google last month introduced Google Wallet, a mobile-payment application enabled by smartphones equipped with near-field communication technology that will let users pay for goods by tapping their phones against special terminals.