Will Windows Mobile jump back to number 2 by 2013?

Will Windows Mobile jump back to number 2 by 2013?

Summary: 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. 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

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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.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Mobile OS, Operating Systems, Software, Wi-Fi, Windows

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36 comments
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  • Don't summon the marketing people...

    Win7 house party ads (check cNet Buzz Report for a nice roast), Bill Gates shaking his posterior, and misleading Laptop Hunters ads...these are the people you want to sell people on WinMo?

    Personally I'd say to have MS do the same thing that they mostly do with Windows - with the exception of the Vista and 7 ads, they pretty much left Dell/HP/Whomever to advertise the hardware and let the OS be part of the deal. I say do the same thing here - let LG and HTC market their phones however they want, and prevent Microsoft from ever making another commercial.

    Joey
    voyager529
    • I like MS ads

      The Seinfeld one may have represented the nadir but the Laptop Hunter ads are good and have been attributed by some to a recapture of some marketshare, and while most ads are slightly mis-leading, they are giving Apple a bit of their own medicine, and not even being as crass about it as Apple is.

      The Windows 7 Kylie ads are cute, whether they are effective or not is too soon to call but I can't resist cute animals and all those 'happy words'.
      JasonJD48
  • RE: Will Windows Mobile jump back to number 2 by 2013?

    By 2013 Android and Iphone Will Dominate the Smartphone Market.
    TheCableGuyNY
    • How?

      The iPhone is classic 20 million or so a year Apple product. Android has yet to prove itself.

      Rationale please.
      Sleeper Service
      • How?

        Wait for another year and u`ll see.
        TheCableGuyNY
        • *Sigh*

          Is that the same as waiting for the 45 million iPhone sales that Munster predicted for 2009?

          Nah. I think I'll pass.
          Sleeper Service
      • Too funny.

        The iPhone is expected to be at about 35 million for 2009 with iPod
        Touch in the 20-30 million. That is a tad bit (OK around 300% or so)
        above your "20 million or so" mark already.
        Bruizer
        • Err...

          ...you do understand what 'per year' means, right?

          Apple have had three models - one with a limited launch, the other with a much wider catchment - and sell, let's see... about 15-20 million a year.

          Was there anything else?

          I also find it slightly sad - and at the same time amusing - that they have to pad the numbers out with a PMP.
          Sleeper Service
          • I do, but do you?

            Industry estimated far outstrip yours. Since they [apple] are already beyond
            your 20 million with a quater left for the year. I will believe the experts and not
            you.
            Bruizer
          • Uh...

            Try reading the post - adding the sales of the 3G to the 3GS is disingenuous because they're not the same phone.

            Try counting launch cycle to launch cycle (July to July sales).

            Here, I'll help you out a bit:

            http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/8f/IPhone_sales_per_quarter.svg/765px-IPhone_sales_per_quarter.svg.png
            Sleeper Service
          • I didn't.

            Calendar 3Q09 results are not out so Apple is at 9 million units in
            their 2 weakest (historically) quarters of the year. Most data supports
            a significantly better Calendar 3Q09 (Apple's FY Q409) compared to
            2Q09. 2Q09 only had 1 week of iPhone 3G/3G S in it VS having 16
            weeks or so in the coming 3Q09. We will know in 3 weeks or so.

            So lets see, if Apple's 2 weakest (and historically significantly weaker) quarters add to 9 million units and they have their two strongest quarters (back to school and holiday) coming, reaching >30 million
            (based on the trends in the graph you so happily supplied) units for
            the calendar year is not unreasonable. Especially with China in the
            picture and Apple recently (as in about 1 week back) stating they are
            currently production limited on supply.

            This is also backed up if you correlate this with the growth in the
            AdMob data. You do have to assume, however, that a large selection
            of people will tend to the use the iPhone in similar ways. So iPhone
            users tend to browse one way and WinMo users browse another way.
            However, these ratios map into actual sales.

            Adding iPod Touch (actually somewhat valid from a platform
            standpoint. Funny thing, I have several friends that use the Touch exclusively as their mobile phone handset. Skype is your friend. The
            Touch is the first really effective mobile VoIP handset) would only
            make the numbers better.

            The real surpriser at the end of the year, in my prediction, will come
            from Android. It will end up having a really good first year.

            Open excel and play with the numbers. Learn something. Predict
            something. Open your mind to something that is not Apple hate.
            Bruizer
      • How?

        Start Using one in You`ll see!
        TheCableGuyNY
        • I did...

          ...too big and too clunky plus its reliance on iTunes is rubbish.

          Nice phone but not for me.
          Sleeper Service
  • RE: Will Windows Mobile jump back to number 2 by 2013?

    I think that if MS can make WM 7 actually stable... as in NO re-boots.... then it will be a huge hit. I love WM and the only reason I switched away from it is that I get angry every 3 hours when I have to wait 3 minutes to re-boot the phone.

    My Blackberry never needs that restart, always answers when I push the answer button and has 95% of the functionality...and with BIS it is the best email machine I have ever seen.
    condelirios
    • love your post

      "I love WM and the only reason I switched away from it is that I get angry
      every 3 hours..."

      best quote in a long time. keep up the good work!
      bannedfromzdnetagain
  • It Is What It Is, And What They Are Not!

    "....(Windows Mobile phones) don?t limit what I can do on the go and are highly customizable to my preferences for maximized efficiency."

    This is Mobile's strength. Easily customizble wihtout all the bloat ware Wireless Operators like to add when a ROM is flashed. WM is truly much more open than any other. And let's not forget that savy users were doing things with WM2003 that even today these new trendy systems cannot.

    If so, then why is WM still ahead in the primary phone interface, hands free operation via voice command? A lot of these "primary phone interfaces" requires two handed operation. One must confuse finger diddling your phone with productivity. But most of these devices are biased towards other services the manufacturer may offer (Google's Search Engine) or are based on other devices (Apple's iPod) which they prodiced prior.

    http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Windows/Microsoft-CEO-Steve-Ballmer-Says-Company-Screwed-Up-Windows-Mobile-241614/?kc=EWKNLWMU10012009STR1

    Did Balmer really say "WM7"? Is "Windows Phone" already a dead monicker?
    brianpeterson@...
  • No way

    Soon everyone will follow Palm and Motorola in ditching windoze.
    My prediction is that M$ will be out of this market entirely by 2013.
    Linux Geek
    • I agree

      They may hold on to a few people that feel loyalty to Microsoft
      (though, for the life of me, I'll never understand how any fair minded
      American can support that company)

      I guess I can't expect everyone to read the Antitrust Trial transcripts to
      see how, in their own words, Microsoft had to admit and was found
      guilty of extorting other American companies and screwing their
      customers. A more unethical, immoral company I can't even imagine.
      When a federal judge compares Gates and Company to Columbian
      drug lords, you know what type of company MS is.

      Anyway, windows mobile is dead man walking; it just doesn't know it.

      When the iPod came out, Balmer laughed at it, when the iPhone came
      out, Balmer laughed at it. Both have kicked MS's butt, and they'll keep
      on kicking it.

      As an Apple shareholder, I pray everyday for Balmer's health and
      continued, ahem, leadership of Microsoft. With him running the
      company, I know MS is a sinking ship.
      ShazAmerica
      • toast

        a toast to steve ballmer: may he be at the helm of microsoft for as long
        as it takes!
        bannedfromzdnetagain
  • WinMo has potential.

    The only real reason it is not a leader is because of one thing, and one thing only:interface.
    It has a leg up on other Smartphone OS developers by being as open as it is. The lack of a dedicated App store makes it harder for the general public to really get into the devices. The interface can sometimes seem rigid (although some, like HTC show that it doesn't have to be)
    jetsethi