Windows To Break iPhone By '16: Analysts
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iPhone and Android are king of smartphones now..but what about 2016?


Is this the new iPhone?

Microsoft’s Windows Phone is to beat iPhone in the smartphone war by 2016, analyst IDC predicts.

In four years time, Google’s Android will remain the definitive smartphone leader (52.9%) and Windows will become the No. 2 OS globally with almost one in five smarties ran by Windows Phone or 19.2% – outrunning Apple iOS share – just – by 0.2%.

Windows Phone will gain share despite a slow start and will be helped by Nokia’s strength in emerging markets, say IDC.

That is, assuming Nokia’s foothold in emerging markets like India and Latin America is maintained.

But Nokia and Microsoft need to quickly switch (the now dead) Symbian OS user allegiances to Windows Phone 7 in order to maintain relevancy in the smartphone race, IDC warns.

The HTC Titan, Samsung Omnia and Nokia Limia are all currently  Windows based phones in the Aussie market, released this year, although its too early to say how they are flying.

And if Windows 8 OS for tabs and PC does well, it may boost W Phone usage also.

If IDC predictions are correct, this means Windows Phone will increase its share 400% – from its current 5.2%.

Android’s domination will peak this year at a whopping 61% by end 2012, – three times that of Apple 20.5% share.

“Android will maintain leadership throughout our forecast, while others will gain more mobile operator partnerships (Apple) or currently find themselves in the midst of a major transition (BlackBerry and Windows Phone/W Mobile), ” says IDC.

IDC projects Android good fortune will be driven by Samsung. But analysts also predict even more phone makers will adopt the Green Man in the coming years – on top of HTC, sony, LG And Samsung. 

iOS will continue its impressive run thanks to strong iPhone 4S sales but growth will moderate due to the large installed base Apple has accumulated.

Still Apple looks set to grow by 10% year-on-year til 2016 but emerging market are of “utmost importance”  and its recent move towards China and other non-US markets is clear evidence Cupertino, too, are aware of this.

And surprisingly, analysts say there will continue to be a market for teh currently struggling BlackBerry’s, and will grow by 12% annually but still account for just under 6% of all smartphones OS in four years – the same as now.

However, the gulf between the BlackBerry OS and Droid, Apple will widen as phones become increasingly software/app-oriented and the “bring your own device” trend at work proliferates.

Overall the phone market growth is slipping as less consumers buy feature or ‘dumb’ phones but will still grow by 4% this year, to almost 1.8 billion devices, compared to 1.7 bn in 2011.

By the end of 2016, IDC forecasts 2.3 billion mobiles will be shipped.

 

Dumb phones are projected to decline 10% this year, while smartphones are expected to grow almost 40% to 686 m in 2012, compared to last year

Many owners of feature phones, sometimes known as “talk and text” devices, are holding on to their phones in light of uncertain job and economic prospects and will still comprise a massive 61.6% of the total mobile phone market this year.

“The smartphone parade won’t be as lively this year as it has been in past,” said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst IDC.

“The mobile phone user transition from feature phones to smartphones will continue in a gradual but unabated fashion.

“Smartphone growth, however, will increasingly be driven by a triumvirate of smartphone operating systems, namely Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7.”