IDC: Android will 'peak'; Will iOS hold on to second place?

IDC: Android will 'peak'; Will iOS hold on to second place?

Summary: Believe it or not, it may not be a two-horse race between Android and iOS in four years from now. It could be Windows Phone and iOS battling it out for the highly coveted second-place.

TOPICS: Android

In a two-horse race between Android and iOS at the top of the smartphone market share table, Research in Motion and Microsoft are left to fight for the highly coveted third-place.

According to new projections, Microsoft could see its share rise to place it not in third place --- but second place --- by 2016.

IDC warns the smartphone market will not be as "lively" in 2012 as it has on previous years as the transition between feature phones and smartphones continues.

But the research firm said today it expects Android to peak later this year ahead of a market slowdown in mobile phone shipments in the coming years.

Interestingly, in 2012 we are seeing a battle between first and second place, with the fallback third place in the market share rankings as the highly coveted spot among the lower players, in 2016 we will see Android reign as the king of mobile platforms, while second and third place will be the key mobile battleground.

Android is expected to climb to 61 percent of the overall market share, but will drop to a near 53 percent in 2016. It will likely maintain the lead, largely thanks to booming Samsung sales.

Windows Phone will likely take the crown from BlackBerry, according to comScore figures, even though at the moment its share continues to fall --- though not as rapidly as RIM's.

But here's the kicker: these figures reflect only if Nokia can keep its head above the water.

iOS will likely suffer a small market share decline but will likely see an emerging markets offset if Apple wants to maintain and gain share. IDC is obviously talking about BRIC countries --- including Brazil, Russia, India, and China --- though expects Apple to see a significant overall shipment growth through to 2016.

BlackBerry, however, will likely slip into fourth place --- even though at this rate, considering RIM's current market troubles, the company may not live to see Christmas. RIM's move towards the emerging markets, such as India and Indonesia, will likely keep the company ticking over. Having said that, as the BYOD movement forms a natural trend in the coming years, the BlackBerry smartphone will fall behind.

It all rests on Nokia. If the Finnish phone giant can avoid "doing a RIM" and slipping into an operating loss, hopefully kept going by its Redmond-based partners, it may not challenge Android by a long shot but could keep Apple at bay.

Image credits: IDC.


Topic: Android

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  • Read this and said Huh?!?

    Do the same analysis/ projection a year ago and get a totally different answer.
    An analysis in 2013 will provide yet another.

    Interesting but realistically nonsensical data.
    • Actually, they projected WP7 would be the winner by 2012

      But fact is that MS has LOST market share since WP7 was released.
  • Apple fans should welcome the competition

    Apple tends to stagnate when they hold on to a market too long.
  • I think they will all be around...

    I think Apple will be in second place to Android on the phones and 2nd place to Windows on the Tablets.
    • And will still make more money and have a higher

      market cap than MS and all Android manufacturers combined.
  • IDC: Android will 'peak'; Will iOS hold on to second place?

    There is incredible growth potential for Microsoft Windows Phone. This is some welcomed competition in the land of mobiles for those who do not want android or iOS.
    Loverock Davidson-
  • the only way

    that Apple and M$ will be battling for second place, is if Apple falls that low.
  • Is IDC ever even close on long range predictions?

    Go back 4 years and WinMo was going to rule the world and Android was going to be a near 0% market share while iOS was going to stay at less than 1%.

    IDC (and Gartner and ....) have a horrible track record. I suspect iPhone will be at 18%-22% market share with about 90% profit share with the iPad holding 50-60% market share on tablets. Windows Phone 9 will either dominate Android or simply go away. RIM??? If they execute on BBOS10 they could see a resurgence eating from iOS and Android market share (I have many friends using iOS and Android that really miss aspects of their old BB). If BBOS10 is poorly done they will go the way of Palm.

    What is Samsung going to do? Will they stay withe Android or make a run for their own eco-system?
  • Didn't you read the 2005 chart?

    Everyone knows Palm has the largest share of smartphones in the market today.
  • LOL... EXCEPT..

    these guys were predicting double digits for MS NOW... so these guys obviously don't have a clue what they are talking about...
  • Equal share

    Below is my prediction in 2016

    WP = 30 ( plus or minus 5)
    Android =30 ( plus or minus 5)
    iOS = 25 ( minus 5)
    BB = 10
    Rest = 5
    • So...

      Android market share is going to decline by 50%, while WP market share grows by 600%? Care to explain the reasoning behind this?
  • Based on what research?

    How can you predict what people will be buying tech wise in 4 years? The ecosystem will change 2 or 3 times with new phones, new operating systems (BB10, iOS_, Android 5 or 6, etc) - there are just too many variables (as evidenced by old analyst reports that predicted that WinMo would still be dominant in 2012). Leaves me wondering future market share predictions are based on which vendor spends the most money taking these analysts out to lunch.
  • Zack we know you are deeply into Apple

    And thats why you always undermine Nokia. Thanks for your lousy story.

    >>But here???s the kicker: these figures reflect only if Nokia can keep its head above the water.

    >>It all rests on Nokia.
    Ram U
  • Extremely unlikely...

    I think WP will be the third platform, but that kind of growth is highly unlikely. The best case for WP is when carriers cut iPhone subsidies, they gain some more market share from there and a share of feature phone converts. I would say 10-15% is more likely.
  • Simplistic play on last year's numbers assuming all Nokia users go to WP7

    It is easy to see where they get their figures from. It is based on a simplistic playing around with figures for Nokia's marketshare last year, and on all Nokia users switching to Windows phone 7.

    That isn't what is happening in the real world. Nokia users are jumping ship and switching mainly to Android or iPhone, and Windows Phone 7 numbers are minimal compared to the drop in Symbian users.
  • No.. just no.

    Windows Phone will slowly fall apart. I'm surprised Microsoft didn't even stop selling this device in the first place due to lack of competition with Apple and Android. They're not going to "take second place" from Apple at any point. Tim Cook and Scott Forestall are smarter than that. They won't ever let such a thing happen. I think the Windows Phone is dead, and always will be dead.

    Secondly, do any of these analysts not see how stupid Android OS makers are? "Ice Cream Sandwich" is only on roughly 7% of Android devices and it's been out for nine months. Why would Android then roll out with another OS "Jelly Bean" this month before the one before it has a chance to mature on the market? Android lost part of it's market share over the last quarter and part of that has to do with the fact that app developers are starting to give up with the platform due to fragmentation (which Android obviously doesn't care about since they're yet again rolling out another OS pre-maturely). I can say with confidence that Android slowly go down market share wise over the next year and level out.

    Third, Android is "#1" in market share. Anybody know why? Because Android has 5x as many phones running their OS! Apple has four phones over the last four years running one version of iOS. Obviously Android will own a larger market share.

    Fourth, somebody mentioned Windows taking over Apple in the tablet market? No thinks. Who has been able to do that as of yet? NOBODY. Windows tablets are going to be about as successful as their phone. And Windows 8 looking at the developers BETA's? Forget about it. It's not simple enough for people to use.