Is Apple Staring at Flattening Sales?

more_music_image iphoneApple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) share of the global smartphone market will grow to 22 percent this year, but will peak at that point and flatten through 2018, according to a projection from market researcher ABI Research. And rival Samsung (SSNLF.PK) will be there to fill in the growth holes, the report added.

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“Barring an unlikely collapse in Samsung’s business, even Apple will be chasing Samsung’s technology, software, and device leadership in 2013 through the foreseeable future,” ABI’s Michael Morgan said in a statement.

Apple’s iOS accounted for just under 15 percent of the global market in the third quarter of last year according to a recent report from IDC, up from 13.8 percent a year earlier. Samsung, which increased its market share from 8 percent in 2010 to more than 30 percent last year on the back of Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android, will diversify its operating system portfolio to include the homegrown Bada, Intel’s (NASDAQ:INTC) Tizen, and Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone, the ABI report added.