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Smartphone shipments to near one billion by 2016 with WP7 second biggest platform

by Scott Bicheno on 10 June 2011, 09:52

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), IDC

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qa6cq

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Phone flood

Market researcher IDC has pronounced "the smartphone floodgates are open wide," in forecasting global smartphone unit growth of 55 percent this year and for total units sold to approach a cool billion by the end of 2015.

305 million smartphones were shipped last year and IDC expects that to increase to 472 million this year. This growth rate was extrapolated to arrive at a figure of 982 million by 2016, but given the large margin for error in such forecasts it may as well be a billion.

"The growth trend is particularly pronounced in emerging markets where adoption is still in its early days," said IDC's Kevin Restivo. "As a result, the growth in regions such as Asia/Pacific and Latin America, will be dramatic over the coming years."

Once more IDC has predicted good things for Microsoft's mobile platform - WP7 - principally on the back of anticipated growth when Nokia completes its wholesale move onto WP7. If you look at the table below, a more or less straight swap from Symbian to WP7 is anticipated, but that's assuming a lot.

More than anything else it's assuming that Nokia's brand and routes to market remain largely intact in that time. But with every passing day Nokia is getting bad press and negative commentary from analysts. Earlier this week Texas Instruments cut its forecast, blaming reduced demand from Nokia. Meanwhile even Nokia's current depressed share price is not considered good value, and Microsoft is struggling to give WP7 handsets away.

Also surprising is the forecast that BlackBerry will grow slightly faster than iOS. Many commentators are drawing parallels between RIM and Nokia when it comes to aging platforms, and you have to wonder if there's room for more than three platforms to thrive, but IDC backs RIM to defend its position robustly.


Worldwide Smartphone Operating System 2011 and 2015 Market Share and 2011-2015 Compound Annual Growth Rate

Operating System

2011 Market Share

2015 Market Share

2011-2015 Unit CAGR

Android

38.9%

43.8%

23.7%

BlackBerry OS

14.2%

13.4%

18.3%

Symbian

20.6%

0.1%

-68.8%

iOS

18.2%

16.9%

17.9%

Windows Phone 7/Windows Mobile

3.8%

20.3%

82.3%

Others

4.3%

5.5%

27.6%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

20.1%

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, June 9, 2011.

Note: Market share based on unit shipments.

 



HEXUS Forums :: 11 Comments

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WP7 with 20% of the market is miles away from reality. It appears to be the weakest smartphone platform with the least interest from users and is very much derided. Nokia on board will make or break both company's mobile strategy.
Hmmmm..

Good luck microsoft, I think you'll need it.
WP7's tie in with Windows 8 will give it a massive boost though.

I can imagine WP7 trundling along for a while not really making any waves, but building a solid foundation and eventually expanding from it. It certainly won't be a rapid growth, not for a couple of years yet anyway.
Funkstar
WP7's tie in with Windows 8 will give it a massive boost though. I can imagine WP7 trundling along for a while not really making any waves, but building a solid foundation and eventually expanding from it. It certainly won't be a rapid growth, not for a couple of years yet anyway.

+1 on this. The few people I've talked to who have WP7 phones have been as "evangelic" as iOSers. Comments like "I expected it to be crap, but it's actually quite slick and easy to get your head around".

As for the combo of WP7+Win8, I've got to say that if MS aren't planning something neat integration features then they're totally off their trolley's. Heck, I'd even look at speaking to HP to get permission to do something like Touchstone, or some other cableless/seamless sync mechanism. From what I've seen WP7 already dovetails nicely with Xbox, so linking with Windows makes 100% sense.

As to the "WP7 replacing Symbian" assumption - not sure either, I would have thought that Android would have picked up a good slab of these sales, because it'll be cheap smartphones. Unless, of course, Nokia surprises everyone and delivers a spectacularly good range of WP7 phones, in which case the Nokia fans will find it a lot easier to stay brand loyal.
The Nokia thing is interesting. Everything I've read about them lately has been very US or UK centric, but people either forget or they simply don't know about the dominance of Nokia in other markets. In my Saudi Arabia right now and i've seen a couple of Nokia Service Centres. Most of the guys I've been working with have Nokias. the ones with a Qwerty keypad are definitely seen as an alternative to a Blackberry.

If Nokia can convert markets like this over to WP7, that is a massive chunk of custom for them and Microsoft.