Research firm IDC expects the smartphone market to grow 55pc year over year in 2011, with 472m smartphones expected to ship this year.
This figure compares to 305m shipped in 2010, according to IDC.
The number of smartphones shipped is expected to almost double by the end of 2015 to 982m.
"The smartphone floodgates are open wide," said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.
"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.
“The growth trend is particularly pronounced in emerging markets where adoption is still in its early days. As a result, the growth in regions such as Asia/Pacific and Latin America will be dramatic over the coming years," said Restivo.
IDC expects Android to grow to more than 40pc of the market in the second half of 2011, due to vendors using Android as their primary operating system for smartphones.
Symbian will continue to lose share due to Nokia’s transition to Windows Phone, falling to 0.1pc by 2015. IDC said this will give competing operating systems a great opportunity to gain footing.
As for Windows Phone, IDC believes it will benefit from Nokia’s support, where the mobile phone company has a strong presence. Until Nokia releases Windows Phone devices, the mobile OS will only capture a small share of the market. However, it is expected to reach a No 2 rank and a 20pc market share in 2015.
iOS was seen as the third-ranked OS going into 2011 and will remain strong throughout IDC’s forecast. It will have a 16.9pc market share in 2015.
BlackBerry will stay as the No 4 mobile OS through to 2015, with a 13.4pc market share.