In 2012, 695 million smartphones were ordered. Come 2016, the research group believes there will be 2.6 billion phone orders worldwide.
While other mobile phone sales will decline, smartphone popularity will overtake feature phones in 2013.
With an overall compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of eight per cent of the mobile market, Android will lead and iOS and BlackBerry follow at a considerable percentage distance.
Chris Jones, vice president and principal analyst, said there is hope for improvement on BlackBerry’s market decline from 20 per cent in 2010 to five per cent in 2012 with its BlackBerry 10 releases.
“While Canalys does not expect BlackBerry to return to that high in the coming years, it does have an opportunity to win back some of the lost customers, especially those that miss the BlackBerry keyboard,” Jones said.
He added: “However, for it to achieve this, the new operating system must filter down through its portfolio in the next year.”
However, smartphones will only be second in terms of CAGR measure with 18 per cent against top growing tablet personal computers (PCs), which will top the market with 35 per cent CAGR.
At the cost of a six per cent decline in notebook PCs, tablet PCs are predicted to reach 384 million units in 2016.
More than 50 per cent of tablet PC demands will be seven-inch screens, with Apple leading the market despite a 17 per cent decline in share value.
Tim Coulling, senior analyst at Canalys, said: “Android tablets will continue to proliferate, as both phone and traditional PC vendors seek entry into the market and help drive prices down further.”
Coulling predicted Microsoft would have more growth potential as consumers grow accustomed to the touch-screen features of Windows 8, although its success will be influenced by its price.
Canalys is a research analyst company reporting on the future of technology.