Windows Phone will only hold 10% of the smartphone market in 2017 despite Microsoft’s Nokia acquisition.
According to a report put together by analysts IDC, Windows Phone will cement its position as third OS of choice, but will continue to struggle against Android and iOS. Research manager with IDC’s mobile team, Ramon Llamas told Mobile: ‘The forecast we put together for Windows Phone was prior to the Microsoft/Nokia announcement, and we still stand by it. Assuming this acquisition goes through, it still has a lot of work in order to realise larger volumes. Could it come together faster? I'm a little sceptical about that, considering the tight grip that Android and iOS have on the overall market. Still, it represents stronger growth from where Windows Phone began in 2010.’
Analysts and operators alike heralded the deal as a chance to break the Samsung/Android and Apple/iOS duopoly. It is thought Microsoft will be in a position to invest in innovation and marketing, however, a 6% upturn between 2013 and 2017 represents steady rather than revolutionary growth against market rivals. OS juggernaut Android is expected to sustain its domination over the market up until 2017, although IDC predicts it will lose a proportion of its 75% share to users of iOS and the gradually growing Windows Phone. It’s expected to hold two-thirds of the market in four years time, while iOS will grow worldwide by 1% to 17.9%.Blackberry will continue to struggle, with forecasts predicting the Canadian manufacturer will only hold 1.7% of the market in 2017.
The report paints a positive overall picture for the industry as smartphone shipments are expected to reach 1 billion for the first time in a calendar year, with forecasts predicting 40% growth this year. A strong first half to 2013 has seen predicted growth of the mobile phone market jump to 7.3% year-on-year from an original forecast of 5.8%. It is predicted that 1.8 billion mobile phones will be shipped this year, with a 2017 projection of 2.3 billion – over half of which are expected to be smartphones.
Llamas added: ‘Two years ago, the worldwide smartphone market flirted with shipping half a billion units for the first time – to double that in just two years highlights the ubiquity that smartphones have achieved. The smartphone has gone from being a cutting-edge communications tool to becoming an essential component in the everyday lives of billions of consumers.
‘Underpinning the smartphone market is an evolving market for operating systems. We believe Android and iOS will remain the clear number one and two platforms, respectively, throughout our forecast. What remains to be seen is how Windows Phone and BlackBerry's respective futures will play out pending their recent announcements. Windows Phone has inched ahead of BlackBerry during the first half of 2013, and we believe that will extend into the future. However, overall shipments will continue to trail those of Android and iOS.’
Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst at IDC, added: ‘Smartphones will represent virtually all of the mobile phone market in many of the world's most developed economies by the end of 2017. Aggressive carrier subsidies of handsets, falling prices, higher consumer awareness, and a vast array of devices will mean almost all phones shipped to the developed world will be 'smart.' However, smartphone shipment volume will be dominated by emerging markets, such as China, even though the percentage of smartphones to feature phones won’t be as high.’
Author: Matthew Campelli