Only a short time ago, such a projection would have appeared to come form the most delusional of Windows fans. But circumstances have changed. And now one of the most respected research firms in the mobile industry has stepped up to make a bold prediction about the future of iOS and the Windows Phone platform.
On Wednesday, IDC projected that Microsoft's Windows Phone will overshoot Apple's iOS in terms of the worldwide smartphone market share in 2016. In other words, four years from now, the global mobile landscape
could be drastically altered from what we know today.
"Underpinning the smartphone market is the constantly shifting OS landscape," says Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC's Mobile Phone Technology and Trends team. "Android will maintain leadership throughout our forecast, while others will gain more mobile operator partnerships (Apple) or currently find themselves in the midst of a major transition (BlackBerry and Windows Phone/Windows Mobile). What remains to be seen is how these different operating systems – as well as others – will define and shape the user experience beyond what we see today in order to attract new customers and encourage replacements."
Windows Phone 7/Windows Mobile will gain share despite a slow start. Windows Phone 7/Windows Mobile will be aided by Nokia's strength in key emerging markets. IDC expects it to be the number 2 OS with more than 19% share in 2016, assuming Nokia's foothold in emerging markets is maintained.
"The number of apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace has grown by 60 percent, to nearly 80,000 from January to March of this year according to the Windows Phone Blog," said Matt Gillis, SVP of Global Monetization Solutions at Millennial Media. "During that same time, they report that the number of customer stores around the world nearly doubled, providing 54 markets for developers to sell their apps."
Sources: IDC, Millennial Media