Regular readers know that I personally enjoy using Windows Mobile devices even if they aren't the flashiest and most user friendly devices currently available because they don't limit what I can do on the go and are highly customizable to my preferences for maximized efficiency. The iPhone, WebOS, and Android operating systems are the new kids in town and are all the talk, but I was pleased to see that iSuppli's latest report and data shows that Microsoft may reclaim the number 2 position in the global market, behind Symbian, between 2010 and 2013. The iSuppli press release doesn't mention RIM (I will check with them on the details), but according to the Q2 2009 data, Symbian led with 50.3%, followed by RIM at 20.9%, Apple at 13.7% and Microsoft at 9%. It looks like it will take quite a bit for Microsoft to jump all the way from 4th to 2nd over the next 3 years and while they may do better I am not quite sure they will jump all the way to 2nd place.
2009 has been a down year for Windows Mobile with the slow response to these latest operating systems that are highly focused on the user interface, but with 6.5 coming out next week and Windows Mobile 7 in 2010 this will change. In the US, I believe RIM will be continue to be number 1, followed by Apple, and then Windows Mobile. 2010 will be an interesting year for these three mobile operating systems and I look forward to seeing how things shake out. The Palm WebOS and Google Android devices may continue to slowly roll out, but I think it will take some time for them to take hold in North America.
The report states that in 2009 there are 27.7 million Windows Mobile smartphones with a prediction that there will be 67.9 million in 2013. iSuppli states that the reason Microsoft can still do well with Windows Mobile is their ownership of the mobile ecosystem, from devices to services to client software integration.
While the recent news of Palm and Motorola leaving as Windows Mobile licensees may sound bad, neither one focused on Windows Mobile and they were not top sellers of Windows Mobile devices anyways. The addition of LG, with their pledge to create 50 Windows Mobile devices, should be HUGE for Windows Mobile too. There are actually 14 OEM licensees of Windows Mobile compared to the second place Symbian operating system at 10.
Overall, Windows Mobile is still in a very healthy position and 2010 should be quite an exciting year for them. I think Microsoft really needs to turn on the advertising machine too and tell their story to the world because they truly do have a compelling operating system and some amazing devices.