News

IDC: Windows Phone To Become No. 2 Mobile OS by 2016

Microsoft's consumer mobile operating systems will emerge from their current slump in the market to achieve second place in four years, according to recently published analysis by IDC.

The research and consulting firm estimated that Microsoft's smartphone operating systems, Windows Phone and the aging Windows Mobile, will eventually pass Apple's iOS to become the most-used smartphone OSes in the world. Google's Android will continue to be the top smartphone OS worldwide, although its market share will fall from 61.0 percent in 2012 to an estimated 52.9 percent in 2016. Android shipments will increase by 9.5 percent annually until 2016, IDC reported on Wednesday.

The current No. 2 OS in the world, iOS, is also expected to lose ground over the next four years. Although IDC forecasts 10.9 percent annual growth in iOS' worldwide shipments during that period, its share will drop from the current 20.5 percent to 19.0 percent in 2016.

By comparison, IDC projects more explosive growth for Windows Phone and Windows Mobile. The two OSes' combined worldwide shipments (IDC doesn't break them out separately) will balloon by 46.2 percent annually, increasing their market share from 5.2 percent in 2012 to 19.2 percent in 2016. That will be just enough to propel Microsoft's OSes past iOS into second place.

IDC's prediction that Microsoft will eventually overcome its slow start to leapfrog Apple echoes its forecast last year as well as this report from Gartner.

In this recent report, IDC credited the Microsoft OSes' growth spurt to Microsoft's partnership with Nokia -- specifically, Nokia's "strength in key emerging markets." Additionally, Microsoft has lowered Windows Phone's hardware requirements and expanded its language options in an effort to attract low-end smartphone buyers in developing markets.

For iOS, much of its growth will come from continuing strong adoption of the iPhone 4S in developed markets. However, "[g]rowth will moderate over the five-year forecast given the large installed base Apple has accumulated, which means more of its addressable market will be on replacement cycles," IDC said.

Overall, IDC projects a slowdown in global mobile phone shipments in 2012. Uncertain economic conditions will make users of non-smartphones -- what IDC calls "feature" phones -- reluctant to replace their aging devices. Worldwide mobile phone shipments are expected to grow by only 4.0 percent this year, the smallest year-over-year growth since 2009.

   
Smartphone OS 2012 Market Share (%) 2016 Market Share (%) 2012-2016 CAGR (%)
Android 61.0 52.9 9.5
Windows Phone/Windows Mobile 5.2 19.2 46.2
iOS 20.5 19.0 10.9
BlackBerry OS 6.0 5.9 12.1
Others 7.2 3.0 -5.4
Total 100.0 100.0 12.7
Source: IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

Featured

  • Azure Backup for SQL Server 2008 Available at Preview Stage

    Microsoft added the option of using the Azure Backup service to provide recovery support for SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 when those workloads are hosted on Azure virtual machines.

  • Microsoft Suggests Disabling Old Protocols with Exchange Server 2019

    Exchange Server 2019 with Cumulative Update 2 (CU2) can help organizations rid themselves of old authentication protocols, which constitute a potential security risk.

  • Microsoft Previews New Edge Browser on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1

    Microsoft announced this week that it has released previews of its Chromium-based Microsoft Edge Web browsers for use on Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 systems.

  • Exchange Server June Cumulative Updates Arrive, But with Red Tape

    Microsoft released its quarterly cumulative updates (CUs) for Exchange Server 2013, 2016 and 2019 products this week, but added an extra step for IT pros to consider before installing them.

comments powered by Disqus

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.