IDC: Nokia users will push Windows Phone share above iPhone by 2015

IDC: Nokia users will push Windows Phone share above iPhone by 2015

Summary: It's no secret that Nokia is expecting, hoping (and probably praying) that all of its Nokia smartphone users will become Windows Phone users in the not-so-distant future. But at least one market-research firm is counting on this happening by 2015.

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It's no secret that Nokia is expecting, hoping (and probably praying) that all of its Nokia smartphone users will become Windows Phone users in the not-so-distant future. But at least one market-research firm is counting on this happening by 2015.

International Data Corp. (IDC) made available some of its latest predictions available in a March 29 press release for its Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. (Thanks to WinRumors.com for the pointer to the press release.)

It's not too surprising that IDC is predicting that Android will remain the dominant smartphone OS between now and 2015, growing its current worldwide share from 39.5 percent to 45.4 percent. But IDC is predicting that Microsoft's Windows Phone OS will come in at No. 2 by 2015, growing from 5.5 percent share this year to 20.9 percent. Meanwhile, IDC claims that iOS will drop from 15.7 percent share, to 15.3 percent share in 2015.

Here's IDC's chart:

(click on the chart to enlarge)

So how is Windows Phone OS going to catapult to No. 2 in four years? If you look at IDC's chart, it will largely happen by picking up almost all the Symbian share, according to IDC. IDC is predicting the 20.9 percent Symbian share will be down to .2 percent by 2015. I'm sure Microsoft is counting on getting a hefty share boost from its $1 billion-plus investment in Nokia, but will the Softies manage to hold onto almost all the Symbian base, as Nokia tries to wean them from Symbian? I'd think, given some Nokia users' skepticism about the sanity of the deal, more than a few might go Android or iOS.

Four years is an eternity in the smartphone business. Lots of unanticipated things could (and will) happen between now and then. Plus, as we've seen with the Microsoft-Yahoo partnership, two vendors' market shares combined don't necessarily equal the total of their respective shares. Nonetheless, Nokia has stated in recent financial filings that its ultimate goal is to try to “retain and transition the installed base of approximately 200 million Symbian owners to Nokia Windows Phone smartphones over time."

What's your take? Are the IDC analysts overly optimistic, in terms of Windows Phone's potential gains from the Nokia deal? Or is the Nokia deal Microsoft's guarantee of relevancy in the smartphone market?

And for the record -- I have no idea how anyone can predict (or even guess) what the mobile market will look like four years from now. Even the growing number patent lawsuits among all the different players alone could end up having a significant impact on the players and shares by then (maybe). So remember: Don't shoot the messenger here. I am not backing IDC's prediction; I am simply noting it....

More from my ZDNet colleague Larry Dignan:

Four Reasons Why IDC's 2015 Nokia-Microsoft Predictions Are Bunk

Topics: Software, Apple, Smartphones, Operating Systems, Nokia, Mobility, Microsoft, iPhone, Hardware, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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44 comments
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  • Nokia's Days of Dominance are Most likely Done For

    Microsoft has a loooong history of partnering with companies only to undercut them..IBM and OS/2(which MS morphed into NT, then 2k, XP, Vista, Windows 7, *..etc etc etc) Novell(which they used to develop Active Directory then cut the legs form under Novell).etc etc. I found it interesting that a former Microsoft exec went to head Nokia and right after that Nokia is not only dumping Symbian but nearly totally shutting down it?s own R&D to bet the farm totally on Microsoft. MS phone systems haven?t been market leaders..they?ve been followers and WP7 is no different. If part 2 of this article is correct MS just bought their way into being able to make their own hardware. If that?s correct Nokia?s market domination days are over.

    http://www.emmanuelcomputerconsulting.com/archives/2731
    Hescominsoon
    • And IDC is not known for correct prognosis: little more than year ago they

      @Hescominsoon: ... IDC thought that tablet market will be about flat with yearly sales like few hundred thousand units per year until 2015.

      <b>IDC is as utterly incompetent, ignorant and clueless as any other "research" and "analytical" agency.</b>
      DDERSSS
      • IDC is spreading FUD

        @denisrs <br>unless Apple goes out of business, windoze can't increase share.
        Linux Geek
      • RE: IDC: Nokia users will push Windows Phone share above iPhone by 2015

        @LG: So, let me see if I get this right ... you believe that unless Apple goes out of business, Microsoft, through its own efforts along with its partnership with the world's biggest cellphone OEM & distributor won't be able to win ANY marketshare?

        Sorry, but this is perhaps the most deluded thing I've ever seen you post.
        bitcrazed
  • RE: IDC: Nokia users will push Windows Phone share above iPhone by 2015

    It looks to me like they are expecting to get about 3/4 of Symbian's share, since they already started at around 5.5%. I think a 25% defection rate for Nokia sounds realistic.
    Winning Guy
    • RE: IDC: Nokia users will push Windows Phone share above iPhone by 2015

      @Winning Guy
      I haven't read their report, but who made the assumption that all the additional WP7 market share is going to come from Symbian?
      We could see ... a proprotion of them coming over, but existing Andriod or iOS users could come over to the platform (with some Nokia users going to Andriod or iOS), which seemingly appears as Symbian users going to WP7.
      (I.E. What is to say all Andriod & iOS users will keep using their platform?)
      xnederlandx
  • RE: IDC: Nokia users will push Windows Phone share above iPhone by 2015

    " I?d think, given some Nokia users? skepticism about the sanity of the deal, more than a few might go Android or iOS."

    You're right about the skepticism. But, you also have to ask why they're not already using Android or iOS. I am very disappointed that Nokia is discontinuing Symbian and going to Microsoft. However, I've never been a fan of Android or especially Apple iOS, so when it's time to re-evaluate phones in 2012/13, then it will definetely be something to think about, but no slam dunk that I'll switch to one of those platforms. And, unlike those that have had a sip of the Apple coolaid, I've always bought my phone based on who has the best hardware and the best features (based on what I'm looking for), and for a long time now that has been nokia (except for the last phone which was a samsung and which I regretted when the phone died after 22 months). And I think right now, based on my wants and needs the Nokia N8 is the best.
    mgrubb@...
    • You can also ask....

      @mgrubb@...

      why they are not already using WP7 or older. With Nokia going WP7 100%, all bets are off. Nokia's history is largely irrelevant. Virtually all their current users will be up for grabs. They will consider ALL their options. Some will stay and some will go. Trying go guess the ratio is a total crap shoot. Let's just say that they do not own phones running any type of MS SW currently, so it is not at all obvious why that would change.
      Economister
      • RE: IDC: Nokia users will push Windows Phone share above iPhone by 2015

        @Economister - what you forget is that:
        <ol>
        <li>The cellphone industry and marketplace is VERY different outside the US</li>
        <li>Nokia is far and away the world's biggest handset OEM and distributor but also provides many carrier & billing services in many countries around the world</li>
        </ol>
        Make no mistake - a large percentage of Nokia's customers will stay on Nokia operated services and with Nokia's devices. IDC prediction may be a little optimistic, but Windows Phone's marketshare will increase dramatically.
        bitcrazed
  • I predict that when Nokia starts seeing the defection rates, they will add

    another OS to their arsenal to keep people on Nokia hardware. That could be Android, WebOS, MeeGo, or something else based on Linux. If I were Nokia, I would want those defecting to Android to be able to stay on Nokia hardware.
    DonnieBoy
    • I predict that when you are proven wrong (again)

      @DonnieBoy
      we won't here a peep out of you.

      Look at all you scared little bunnies, already making excuses - because you're so afraid of MS succeding!

      ROTFL!!!
      Will Farrell
  • RE: IDC: Nokia users will push Windows Phone share above iPhone by 2015

    I can only think that IDC makes statements like this to get exposure. Without references to back up the statements there is no credibility. I suppose some people will be happy with the positive words about Windows Phone and that will lead to some earnings opportunities for IDC.
    curph
    • Through the timescope

      @curph <ul><i>"Without references to back up the statements there is no credibility."</i></ul>
      What are you talking about, "references to back up the statements?" What sort of "references" can there be concerning events that are four years into the future?<p>
      Do not expect 'references' from these people. Their business is "precision guesswork," but make no mistake: it IS guesswork for the simple reason that humans do not know the future in advance.<p>
      What companies like IDC sell is Corporate CYA memos. The guy who proposes spending $60 million on an R&D project to develop high-speed vibrating sticks puts a slide in his Powerpoint that says, "IDC predicts the market for high-speed vibrating sticks will increase 35.4% annually through 2020." If that doesn't happen, it's not on <i>him</i>... it was IDC's prediction.

      Big companies spent tens of thousands per year on these CYA predictions.
      Robert Hahn
      • Well said

        @Robert Hahn

        The only problem is that truly successful companies do not need "CYA memos" to undertake investments, but I am sure that is not news to you. Did Jobs rely on IDC to go down the music player, video player, smart phone, tablet path? I would be shocked if he did.
        Economister
  • These IDC numbers ignore two huge factors

    1) WP will have some as yet unknown killer features unmatched by ios/android in 2015.

    2) Android phones will suffer a couple large pwn/botnet takeovers and private data exposures by 2015.

    Taking these into account and RIM losing more enterprise share to WP than they're predicting and WP will also be passing android by then as well...
    Johnny Vegas
    • RE: IDC: Nokia users will push Windows Phone share above iPhone by 2015

      @Johnny Vegas WP7 is going to pass Android? I highly doubt that. In what segment of mobile is MS nothing more than an also-ran? None.
      Hescominsoon
      • RE: IDC: Nokia users will push Windows Phone share above iPhone by 2015

        @Hescominsoon
        Laptops!
        Wolf_Lodge
      • RE: IDC: Nokia users will push Windows Phone share above iPhone by 2015

        @Wolf_Lodge: NICE ;)

        @Hescominsoon - don't forget also that it's rumored MS is planning on releasing WinPhone8 in 2012. By 2014, it's likely that WinPhone9 will be out. I'm pretty certain that Microsoft will have learned a lot and learned it well by that time and that WinPhone will be a <b>very</b> serious competitor.

        Remember - nothing kicks Microsoft into being deadly-effective better than being the underdog!
        bitcrazed
  • RE: IDC: Nokia users will push Windows Phone share above iPhone by 2015

    I don't see Android will lead in four years. The reason is Nokia, who is capable of making phones with premium quality. I mean you can use a Nokia phone for years as long as you'd like to keep it. This is not the case for other phone manufactorers like SE, Samsung, Moto and etc, whose phones won't last for more than two years. This may sound iratating but it's true. Loaded with a modern phone OS like windows phone 7, Nokia will be the choice of most people. This make wp7 the leading OS in the future.
    UseYourHead
    • RE: IDC: Nokia users will push Windows Phone share above iPhone by 2015

      @UseYourHead .. hahahahaha
      deaf_e_kate