Market share for Android smartphones will peak this year and begin declining thereafter, while Windows Phone will gain to become the No. 2 mobile operating system globally by 2016, according to a new prediction from market research firm IDC.
IDC said Wednesday it expects unit sales of smartphones running Google's Android mobile platform to hit 61 percent in 2012 and then decline to 52.9 percent by 2016.
By contrast, IDC predicts that Microsoft 's Windows Phone platform will surpass Apple's iOS to become the second-largest smartphone platform on a global basis. Smartphone growth "will increasingly be driven by a triumvirate of smartphone operating systems, namely Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7," said IDC Senior Research Analyst Kevin Restivo.
However, Microsoft's latest Windows Phone 7.5 mobile OS, also known as Mango, is not expected to begin making gains until Microsoft begins rolling out its Windows 8 operating system for PCs, which features the same Metro-style interface currently found on WP 7 handsets. IDC forecasts that Windows Phone handset sales will only account for a 5.2 percent share of the global smartphone market in 2012.
Beginning next year, however, the firm's analysts believe that Microsoft's evolving Windows Phone platform will be well positioned to benefit from Nokia's continuing strength in key emerging markets. IDC expects Microsoft to become the world's No. 2 mobile OS in 2016 by gaining a 19 percent market share, though the firm's analysts admitted that much will depend on whether Nokia is able to maintain its current foothold in several important emerging markets around the world.
The Innovation Factor
By contrast, IDC sees Apple's share of the mobile OS market slipping slightly from 20.5 percent in 2012 to just 19 percent in 2016. However, much will depend on how well Apple and other smartphone vendors continue to drive smartphone market innovation.
"What remains to be seen is how these different operating systems will define and shape the user experience beyond what we see today in order to attract new customers and encourage replacements," said IDC Senior Research Analyst Ramon Llamas.
Still, other analyst firms believe Apple's already robust iPhone unit sales will escalate dramatically when the iconic device maker unleashes its latest design later this year. Piper Jaffray expects Apple to launch the iPhone 5 in October. (continued...)
Posted: 2012-06-15 @ 1:05pm PT
@James: "There's no compelling reason to use a closed-source OS like Windows anymore"
Other than the rampant viruses infecting Android on a daily basis, the pervasive fragmentation of the platform, the utter and complete lack of security for the user's personal data, the incessant mining of user activity by Google and their partners for marketing purposes, and a lack of high quality software.
Yeah, sure. Sure, buddy... no compelling reasons at all.
Posted: 2012-06-08 @ 11:11am PT
Sorry, but Android is the future. There's no compelling reason to use a closed-source OS like Windows anymore. Every single Windows OS in the past starts with huge fanfare, but eventually ends up being a complete dog. I'm sure this OS works well, but give it a few months and we will see the warts begin to pop up.
Posted: 2012-06-07 @ 8:50pm PT
John u sound like a typical iPhone user. It was the first to the market so you think it is the greatest thing in the world without ever trying anything else. If u try windows phone I guarantee you will find it puts iPhone to shame in every way. Trust me I have used both phones extensively. There is absolutely no advantage to the iPhone.
Posted: 2012-06-07 @ 8:46pm PT
Have you tried windows phone Jeff or John? Try it and I promise you will find it is the best mobile operating system in the market. I have owned an iPhone and android and they don't compare to WP7.
Posted: 2012-06-07 @ 9:45am PT
And how much did you get paid to plug the Windows Phone?
Posted: 2012-06-07 @ 8:17am PT
LOL what crap! Windows phone?? Really??