Who Will Rule The Smart Phone Market in 2014?

iPhone owners are frequently convinced they see other iDevices everywhere they look. Android owners believe they’re poised to take over the universe. But current sales and future projections on smart phone ownership from Gartner show that the mobile world is more complex and more diverse than we give it credit for.

Despite the endless attention that iPhone and Android get (and we’re certainly not denying we write about both platforms a lot around here), there are still an enormous number of Nokia devices being sold each year — almost as many as iPhone, Android and BlackBerry combined in 2010. (The sales figures in the chart are in thousands of units, so the figure for Android phones is above 47 million, for example.)

By 2014, Gartner still predicts Nokia will be top dog, but with a much less dominant market share. Android will be nipping at its heels, and iOS and RIM will still be major players. Windows Phone? Perhaps not so much.

It’s worth remembering that hardware sales only tell one part of the story — it’s reasonable to assume that Apple’s profits are higher, for instance, given that it takes a slice of phone plans and app sales as well.

And that’s a reminder that being the top-seller in the market isn’t necessarily the only path to having a successful product, which is good news for all of us. Diversity in this context means you should be able to find a phone that works as you wish no matter what your needs and preferences.

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