Windows Phone 7 to overtake iPhone, says Gartner

Windows Phone 7 to overtake iPhone, says Gartner

Summary: Gartner is projecting that by 2015, Windows Mobile will be the second most popular smartphone operating system, after Android. This will put it ahead of both Apple's iOS and RIM's BlackBerry.

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TOPICS: Tech Industry
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Gartner is projecting that by 2015, Windows Mobile will be the second most popular smartphone operating system, after Android. This will put it ahead of both Apple's iOS and RIM's BlackBerry. If this sounds familiar, it should. IDC, Gartner's main rival in the IT research business, made the same prediction at the end of last month, and for the same reason: Nokia's adoption of Microsoft's operating system.

The announcement says:

Gartner predicts that Nokia will push Windows Phone well into the mid-tier of its portfolio by the end of 2012, driving the platform to be the third largest in the worldwide ranking by 2013. Gartner has revised its forecast of Windows Phone’s market share upward, solely by virtue of Microsoft’s alliance with Nokia. Although this is an honorable performance it is considerably less than what Symbian had achieve in the past underlying the upward battle that Nokia has to face.

Garter is slightly more optimistic about Android. Where IDC expects its market share to grow to 45.4% in 2015, Gartner is predicting 48.8%. It also sees Apple's iOS doing slightly better and RIM's BlackBerry doing worse. Gartner pegs iOS at 17.2% against IDC's 15.3%, and BlackBerry at 11.1% against IDC's 13.7%.

When I reported IDC's research (see Windows Phone 7 to overtake iPhone, says IDC), I noted one of the hidden assumptions: "that Apple will not launch cheaper versions of the iPhone to compete against Android phones that already cost a lot less. (Apple did bring out cheap and crappy iPods, so I'm not betting against it.)". Gartner makes much the same point, saying:

This reflects Gartner’s underlying assumption that Apple will be interested in maintaining margins rather than pursuing market share by changing its pricing strategy. This will continue to limit adoption in emerging regions.

If they come true, Gartner's market share estimates will be good news for Microsoft but may be less good for Nokia. Gartner reckons that Symbian will have a market share of 19.2% this year, and that Windows Mobile will have a market share of 19.5% in 2015. In my view, that's optimistic, given the strength of the Android juggernaut. Still, Gartner is projecting that the combined market share of Symbian and Windows Mobile will drop from 24.8% in 2011 to 19.6% in 2015. Any success that HTC, Samsung and other suppliers have with Windows Mobile will also have to be subtracted from Nokia's sales.

@jackschofield

Topic: Tech Industry

Jack Schofield

About Jack Schofield

Jack Schofield spent the 1970s editing photography magazines before becoming editor of an early UK computer magazine, Practical Computing. In 1983, he started writing a weekly computer column for the Guardian, and joined the staff to launch the newspaper's weekly computer supplement in 1985. This section launched the Guardian’s first website and, in 2001, its first real blog. When the printed section was dropped after 25 years and a couple of reincarnations, he felt it was a time for a change....

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8 comments
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  • @Jack,
    > Windows Mobile will have a market share of 19.5% in 2015. In my view,
    > that's optimistic

    That's an understatement if ever there was one! This new report is even more bonkers than the IDC one. Is there any evidence that Nokia customers are so loyal, and will remain so even when the the company attempts to shove them onto a completely different phone experience?

    Hmmm... two reports, saying pretty much the same thing; both of them highly controversial and released within weeks of each other? It's hard not to be cynical about such things. Was this report "sponsored by" or "commissioned by" anybody, I wonder? Sadly, I don't have the 10K USD to buy the report and find out...
    anonymous
  • @Jack
    Surely you noticed that they published a four year forecast with seven significant digits of precision (implying a margin of error of 0.00001%).???
    If they can't do 0.1% accuracy for 2010(and nobody has), how do they manage to be 10,000 x more accurate for 2016? Smells fishy to me.
    Also, their methodology favours business associates for sampling - a very conservative group. I never did see the evidence that were able to foresee the 'consumerisation' of the computing and mobile worlds. So paint me unimpressed.
    anonymous
  • Great, so now as a registered user, Zdnet makes me anonymous.....
    anonymous
  • We're looking into that issue. Thanks for flagging it.
    anonymous
  • This should be resolved now.
    lozzags-72800
  • > both of them highly controversial and released within weeks of each other?

    Well, we have this thing called a "calendar", which companies use to divide time into "quarters" and "years". Usually, I expect these reports to emerge within days of each other, not weeks.

    > Was this report "sponsored by" or "commissioned by" anybody, I wonder?

    No.

    > If they can't do 0.1% accuracy for 2010(and nobody has), how do they
    > manage to be 10,000 x more accurate for 2016? Smells fishy to me.

    No rational person thinks they're going to be accurate. They're just projections. However, they've done one heck of a lot more market research than you have, or than I have. If companies didn't find this of some value, Gartner would quickly go out of business....
    Jack Schofield
  • Here's Gartner's equivalent report from August 2010:

    http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1434613

    They predicted then that Windows Phone share would actually decline from 5.2% this year to only 3.9% in 2014. This just underlines how completely they're basing their new prediction on the success of the MS/Nokia hook up. (This older report still had Symbian at #1 in 2014.)

    Interesting that based on its own merits, they expected Windows Phone to decline.
    BrownieBoy-4ea41
  • @Jack
    "No rational person thinks they're going to be accurate." Well that's the whole point really. By presenting the report this way, they are encouraging readers to discount the figures because they just made them up - sort of self-defeating.
    Also, were I paying for this Market 'research' I would expect less flippancy and more rigorous justification of their conclusions. But then, you seem to be easily pleased.
    frogspaw