Market research and analysis firm IDC (International Data Research) predicts that Android will peak this year, and that Windows Phone will surpass iOS by 2016. It also forecasts that a market will remain for Blackberry devices, despite their current gloomy status.

Market research and analysis firm IDC (International Data Research) predicts that Android will peak this year, and that Windows Phone will surpass iOS by 2016. It also forecasts that a market will remain for Blackberry devices, despite their current gloomy status.

In a June 6 report, IDC forecasts that Android OS will continue to be the top-shipping smartphone OS through the year 2016, but that 2012 will be its peak. It also predicts that the future of smartphones rests on the backs of three major smartphone platforms: Android OS, iOS, and Windows Phone. This shouldn't come as a surprise to those who know very much about the state of smartphones, as these three are the big options right now.

IDC also predicts that, if Nokia’s strength in emerging markets continues, then Windows Phone's market share will actually surpass that of iOS by 2016.

"Underpinning the smartphone market is the constantly shifting OS landscape," said IDC senior research analyst, Ramon Llamas. "What remains to be seen is how these different operating systems—as well as others—will define and shape the user experience beyond what we see today in order to attract new customers and encourage replacements."

IDC also had some comments to make about Research in Motion's Blackberry. The analysis firm believes that Blackberry will occupy six percent of the market share in 2012, actually putting it in fifth place behind "all others."

"There will continue to be a market for BlackBerry OS-powered devices, despite Research In Motion's current woes," said IDC's report.

Since Symbian is currently on the decline – because Nokia has switched its focus to Windows Phone- the market share for other smartphone platforms will drop three percent, IDC predicts, leaving Blackberry in fourth place. A lot of critics have been very pessimistic about Blackberry's future. Perhaps there remains hope for Blackberry as a smaller option, but an option nonetheless.

By the end of 2016, IDC anticipates mobile phone shipments will rise from 1.8 billion to 2.3 billion units.

Source:eWeek