A whole lot of smartphones - and in particular, Android phones - are going to find their way into new owners' hands next year, according to one expert. Seth Weintraub recently predicted that 500 million smartphones might sell, with Google's mobile operating system accounting for a lot of the purchases.
Weintraub wrote, "[I]f you thought Android going from 30,000 activations a day to 300,000 activations/day was impressive, 2011 might be an even bigger growth year . . . . Growth targets are just starting to trickle out, but HTC, who make high end Android devices and a few Windows Phone 7 devices expect to triple their 2010 output in 2011."
A significant expansion should take place in the low-end market, too. Weintraub reported, "Broadcom last week announced its BCM2157 - Mass-Market 3G HSDPA 'Android' Baseband chipset. . . . [T]he BCM2157 chipset will retail for under $100 and may dip as low as $75."
What's more, "There is another chipmaker out of China building the same type of chipset for 3G EVDO Rev. A, the type of network that Sprint and Verizon use. They also say that they can get retail prices below $100."
And that brings us back to Weintraub's prediction for huge growth. Again, he thinks half a billion smartphones might sell in 2011, up from 269.6 million in 2010 and 173.5 million in 2009 (according to IDC).
So 2011 may turn out to be a very interesting year for everything and everyone connected to the mobile market, and Google's market share will bear especially close watching.