Data & Research

Windows Phone market share to jump five fold as OS moves into second spot by 2015

But IDC revises fall of iOS

Windows Phone market share to jump five fold as OS moves into second spot by 2015
Back in March, market intelligence firm IDC made the bold step of predicting that Windows Phone would soon become the second largest smartphone platform on the planet, playing second fiddle only to Android by 2015.

In the firm's latest update to its five year projections, IDC has stood by that position, though the details surrounding each platform's respective market share have shifted somewhat.

Dropping the Apple

Following the release of Apple's Q2 2011 results, which saw the company shift 18.65 million iPhones, IDC believes any iOS share slip won't quite be as dramatic as previously predicted.

In March, the body forecasted Android's share rising to over 45 percent by 2015, stretching ahead of iOS, which would fall to below 16 percent across the same period, and Windows Phone, which was projected to snap up just under 21 percent.

Windows Phone's 2015 share has now been revised down 20.3 percent, but that still puts it in second spot behind Android on 43.8 percent, while iOS will now account for 16.9 percent of the market.

Not a major shift, but evidence that making predictions in such a fluid market is no easy task.

Market matters

"The smartphone floodgates are open wide," said senior research analyst Kevin Restivo.

"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."

Indeed, it's many of the developing markets, where Nokia currently has a strong hand with Symbian, that will be behind Windows Phone's rise to prominence.

The platform currently accounts for less than 4 percent of all smartphones according to IDC's 2011 figures, but the platform will "benefit from Nokia's support, scope, and breadth within markets where Nokia has historically had a strong presence."

Opening Windows

"Until Nokia begins introducing Windows Phone-powered smartphones in large volumes in 2012, Windows Phone 7/Windows Mobile will only capture a small share of the market as the release of Mango-powered smartphones are not expected to reach the market until late 2011," IDC concludes in its Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

Microsoft's rise will still be a factor in Apple's demise, despite IDC's slight revision to its projections. However, the firm does note that any loss in share won't be down to a slowdown in shipments.

In fact, IDC expects "significant overall shipment volume growth [for iOS] through the end of 2015", with Apple simply growing at a slower rate than the competition.

[source: IDC]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.