The global smartphone market is projected to double in size by 2016, with shipments hitting an impressive 653 million.
According to Ovum principal analyst Adam Leach, Google's Android OS will drive the growth and emerge as the dominant platform by "dramatically" outperforming Apple.
"The smartphone market will see significant growth over the next five years, once again outperforming the wider mobile phone market. We will see dramatic shifts in dominance for smartphone software platforms, with Android storming into the lead with 38 per cent market share, compared to Apple iOS' 17.5% by 2016," the analyst explained.
Leach also noted that just behind Apple's iOS will be Windows Phone 7 with a 17.2% share, followed BlackBerry OS at 16.5%.
"The partnership between Nokia and Microsoft has redrawn the smartphone market. For Microsoft, the deal provides a committed handset partner that has the potential to make Windows Phone a mainstream smartphone platform.
"[Still], we expect at least one other platform to achieve mainstream success within the forecast period. This could be an existing player in the market such as Bada, WebOS, or MeeGo, or it could be an [entirely] new entrant to the market place," he added.
"The success of the Android platform is being driven by the sheer number of hardware vendors supporting it at both the high and low ends of the market."