Windows Phone to pass iOS by 2016, Android at 53%

Windows Phone to pass iOS by 2016, Android at 53%

Summary: I am not a fan of long term predictions in the mobile space, it just moves too fast, and while I would like to see stats like IDC predicts I will have to see it to believe it.


Readers here know that Windows Phone is one of my favorite platforms, especially with the Nokia Lumia 900, but I also regularly state that long term predictions in the mobile space are not very valid. Thus, even though I hope Windows Phone succeeds, I have a hard time buying into the latest IDC report that shows Windows Phone passing iOS by 2016. They are both predicted to be at about 19% of the market while Android falls from the current 61% to 52.9%.

Note that this prediction shows BlackBerry holding fairly steady at about 6%, but unless RIM has a major turnaround with BB OS 10 they may not even make it to 2016. I can see iOS remaining fairly steady since it seems people who want an iPhone already have an iPhone and Apple tends to sell new devices to existing iPhone users now. I would believe Android increasing more than Windows Phone increasing over the next four years, but we will just have to wait and see what happens.

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  • I agree that RIM basically holding on to what they currently have is hard

    to believe. They are really losing their mindshare to Nokia in their traditional strongholds like india. But I don't have a problem seeing WP growth passing iphone by 2016 or even sooner in fact. Sooner not because ios will do worse but because I don't think the android drop is big enough. I know lots of people with android phones right now and not a single one of them wants another one. Android got its share by being the only viable non iphone and by Verizon exclusively pushing it. 99% of android users fall into the don't even know what android is or do and don't want another one category. They will be much easier to pick off than people think. Especially in the US when Verizon starts pushing WP.
    Johnny Vegas
  • that's a BS prediction

    Based on the model used by FOSS experts, in 2016 windoze phone will be no more and apple will be in single digits!
    The rest will be android and Linux.
    The Linux Geek
    • Pengunistas have been declaring Year of the Linux Desktop every year

      Why should we believe the pengunistas prediction now?
      Your Non Advocate
      • you don't know squat

        about the advanced statistical models used by the FOSS experts.
        The Linux Geek
    • Then it is a good thing

      Windoze Phone doesn't exist
  • I don't get it

    They're predicting that Android goes down the drain and Microsoft eats their lunch...based upon what data?

    • Not much of a decline

      Moving from 61% to 53% is hardly a decline of huge magnitude especially in an expanding smart phone market...
      • #ChartReadingFail

        ...even so, I'm having trouble understanding where these numbers are coming from, and why they're more reliable than a magic 8-ball.
    • I agree

      It's all very dodgy. Predictions for corporate markets are usually based on surveys of corporate IT departments. These involve asking IT managers about purchasing plans over the next n years, so have some validity. For consumer markets, however, there simply isn't the same sort of planning involved in purchasing decisions. Most consumers haven't the faintest idea what sort of mobile they'll be buying in 2016, and their decisions are often driven by fashion, emotion, etc. Surveying them is probably a waste of time, but if not surveys, then where do the numbers come from?
  • Windows Phone to pass iOS by 2016, Android at 53%

    Its a very plausible prediction. As more people grow tired of android and all its quirks they will go to Microsoft Windows Phone. iOS will remain steady as its just selling to the same people over and over again.
    Loverock Davidson-
  • "OS/2 will dominate the desktop within five years"

    Gartner, 1988

    nuff said
  • Reports predictions assume the unknowable

    "Windows Phone 7/Windows Mobile will gain share despite a slow start. Windows Phone 7/Windows Mobile will be aided by Nokia's strength in key emerging markets. IDC expects it to be the number 2 OS with more than 19% share in 2016, assuming Nokia's foothold in emerging markets is maintained."

    When you assume - you assume that 'emerging markets' will become captive to Microsoft's walled garden out of brand loyalty to Nokia?

    As more and more emerging market consumers become able to afford smartphones, why wouldn't they follow the rest of the market; race to the bottom on cheap hardware powered by a free OS (Android), or affluent consumers settling on Apple?

    This report is telling Microsoft marketing execs what they want to hear, to save them from the wrath of you-know-who.

    And to save you know who from the wrath of the board.
    marc van hoff
    • Why not?

      When iOS and then Android took off in the developed markets, the competition from Microsoft and Nokia was still pre-touch Windows Mobile and Symbian, respectively.

      I am suspicious of these projections, but there is undoubtedly some path dependency in these things. It's much harder to take market share once competitors already have entrenched positions, even if a product is competitive. In emerging markets, Android and iOS aren't entrenched, so the playing field will be more level. Nokia also have connections with the local mobile operators, and a lot of experience in localisation for emerging markets. Both will undoubtedly help.

      As an aside, how is Windows Phone any more of a 'walled garden' than other mobile platforms? It's clearly less of one than iOS, because there are multiple sources of hardware. Why is it more 'walled' than Google's Android ecosystem?
      • Not sure I quite understand

        So Nokia has 'connections with local mobile operators and a lot of experience in localization'.

        And Samsung doesn't? LG? Places like India and China are highly capitalist, competitive marketplaces. If consumers want to keep up with modern phones, they're not going to be stuck with Nokia because local phone stores and networks are pushing Nokia.

        I think in truth what we have here is Microsoft can't make a dent in the developed world, so they're pitching a fable about how they're going to make it all up in the third world. Consumers buy what *they* want to buy, they don't take their orders from local providers, even if those providers decided they wanted to push Nokia for whatever reason instead of embracing Samsung and LG.

        My prediction is that with minor variations the world market for handsets is going to be relatively the same globally for reasons that are the same there as they are here; iOS devices are more desirable but much more costly, forcing them in to a minority market share. Android is wild west but free, so it will have dominant share, and Windows is essentially a nonentity.

        As for walled garden, iOS is a walled garden certainly. But walled gardens at 20% of the market are a lot more attractive than those at 3 or 4 percent of the market.
        marc van hoff
      • Conspiracy theories?

        @ marc van hoff

        "I think in truth what we have here is Microsoft can't make a dent in the developed world, so they're pitching a fable about how they're going to make it all up in the third world."

        I see, so you imagine a conspiracy involving IDC making things up on behalf of Microsoft and Nokia. Sorry, I don't take conspiracy theorists seriously.
  • Perhaps there's going to be a "right-sized" analyst or few at IDC

    Emerging markets are the catch-cry for WP moving up. Not considered it would seem is Apple and Android doing anything different from what they do now. That and considering the robbery system that is mobile data charges, do they really think (so-called) smartphones are going to be catching on in the cheaper parts of the world?

    Who knows, probably this analyst gig pays say 7 figures and you get 12 months holiday a year and you get to get away with putting out pap like this once in a better trot out something stirring moment or few.
  • I can predict...

    That IDC will annually update this prediction because it will not happen the way they seem to think.

    The smartphone market dynamic is constantly evolving and even if Windows Phone still has the capability to capture some significant shares, one should be very carefull to predict the current leaders fall. Assuming the leaders will be standing still is puerile thinking.
  • Not everyone who wants an iPhone has one, I don't

    If this were the case, then the numbers sold and in use wouldn't keep going up. Is that really so hard to figure out?
    • Sort of like the Rules of Acquisition

      Standard Phrase #56 from the Munchkins is that Apple sells to the same people over and over again. How they got from so few Mac users to hundreds of millions of iPhone and iPad users is one of those Cosmic Mysteries that cause Munchkin heads to explode. So they don't think about it.
      Robert Hahn
  • Considering the number of phones that will be sold in 2016

    At 52% of the market Android would be selling substantially more than it is currently at 60%. So I don't think that's unrealistic. The carriers really want a 3rd choice and right now MS is the best one out there. BB OS 10 might change that but I highly doubt it.