Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) continue to lead the smartphone market as both companies strive harder in developing highly competitive mobile devices to lure consumers to patronize their products and capture a larger market share.

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Trip Chowdhry, analyst from financial research firm Global Equities Research said Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s combined market share by the end of 2012 would account 98 percent, thus leaving only 2 percent share for other smartphone manufacturers.

Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK), Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM), and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is expected to struggle and obviously a third spot in the smartphone market is no longer significant.

Dan Maycock, analysts from Slalom Consulting deviated from Chowhhry’s estimate. He described his 98 percent speculation as “pretty aggressive.” He said, “Certainly, it’s going to come down to people and their loyalties.” According to him, Microsoft’s position in the mobile device market will not just vanish citing that the software giant generates income from every Android device sold.

Maycock pointed out, “Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has too much money, too much entrenchment in the enterprise market and too much to lose to let [a possible 2 percent market share] happen to them. If they have to give away enough devices to get more than 2 percent of the market, they could do it.”

Chowdhry defended his aggressive prediction since it was based on interviews with only 15 Android and iOS developers during the Intel Developer Forum and other several mobile technology conferences. He reasoned that the estimate is not about the quantity of people he interviewed. Instead, the 98 percent combined market share of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) in the smartphone market was based on the insights shared by interviewees. He explained, “In a random sampling of people, when three people in a row say the same thing, you know you have it right.”

Chowdry elaborated his explanation on how he came up with his prediction by using Apple’s 400 million available mobile devices in the market or the credit card numbers stored in the company’s system. He emphasized that developers project their potential sales for their apps based on 400 million mobile devices. Comparing Apple and Microsoft, he pointed out that the “Windows market doesn’t have 400 million devices or credit card numbers.”

Meanwhile, IDC’s latest survey on the smartphone market share worldwide showed that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) combined global market share account 85 percent. The Android OS dominated with 68.1 percent market compared with the iOS 16.9 percent market share.

The market share of RIM’s Blackberry declined to 4.8 percent, Nokia’s Symbian held 4.4 percent while Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 accounted 3.5 percent.