Windows Mobile Growth Strong, Won't Match Android: IDC

Microsoft's Windows Mobile OS will regain some of the smartphone market share it has lost recently - but will still be in last place in 2014, according to research firm IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

Microsoft's Windows Mobile OS will regain some of the smartphone market share it has lost recently - but will still be in last place in 2014, according to research firm IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

This isn't necessarily bad news for Microsoft; any growth is cause for celebration given that Redmond has been pushed to the back of the smartphone line behind mobile young guns Apple (iPhone) and Google (Android).

"Android and iOS have taken away both mindshare and market share from the old regime [BlackBerry, Symbian, Windows Mobile], and have helped propel the market forward," says Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC's Mobile Devices Technology and Trends team.

Yet on the plus side for Microsoft, IDC is forecasting Windows Mobile to grow in the next five years while key rivals lose market share. Though one rival, Google's Android mobile OS, will gain more market share than anyone.

Microsoft is releasing Windows Phone 7, an overhaul of its mobile OS, this fall.

Windows Mobile's worldwide market share is currently only 6.8 per cent, according to IDC, but it will grow by 43.3 percent in the next five years, to reach 9.8 per cent of the smartphone market by 2014. In the same time period, BlackBerry's share will decline by 3.5 per cent, from 17.9 per cent to 17.3 per cent, and the iPhone's share will decline by nearly 26 per cent, from 14.7 per cent to 10.9 per cent. By 2014, the iPhone will have only an estimated one percent market share lead on Windows Mobile devices, according to IDC.

The entire mobile device market is expected to grow by 55.4 per cent this year compared to 2009 (measured by the number of phones shipped). This is a 10 per cent higher estimate than the one IDC issued in its last Mobile Phone Tracker.

For 2010, IDC expects mobile device vendors to ship 269.6 million smartphones, compared to the 173.5 million units shipped in 2009, a year in which the market declined 2.8 per cent, the first such occurrence in IDC's Mobile Phone Tracker history.

Windows Phone 7: 3 Reasons It's Not Just for Consumers Windows Phone 7: Enterprise Adoption Not a Sure ThingWindows Phone 7 Reviews: Beauty or the Beast?

The catalyst for the increased volume this year is the launch of new models in recent months, such as the BlackBerry Torch, the iPhone 4 and the EVO 4G, according to the IDC report.

The momentum will continue in 2011, with IDC expecting the smartphone market to increase the number of phones shipped by 24.5 per cent next year. But it will decline after that, and by 2014 the market is expected to grow by only 13.6 per cent.

Though Windows Mobile will see market share growth, the big winner for the next five years will be Android phones, which IDC predicts will increase market share from 16.3 per cent to 24.6 per cent, a 51.2 per cent jump.

"Phone vendors have been drawn to Android because it allows them to present their own approach to what a smartphone experience can be," says IDC's Llamas. "And users have quickly warmed to Android, comparing it to Apple's iOS due to its ease of use and a growing mobile application storefront."

While Microsoft is predicted to still have the lowest worldwide market share in 2014 behind iOS, BlackBerry, Android and Symbian, IDC emphasizes that there is room for all smartphone players to grow and compete, with no one vendor taking over as the market share king the way Microsoft has with Windows on the PC.

"The smartphone OS market will remain fragmented but healthy for the foreseeable future," says Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

Shane O'Neill covers Microsoft, Windows, Operating Systems, Productivity Apps and Online Services for CIO.com. Follow Shane on Twitter @smoneill. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline. Email Shane at soneill@cxo.com.

Read more about mobile/wireless in CIO's Mobile/Wireless Drilldown.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags MicrosoftsmartphonesNokiaRIMBlackberryGooglewirelessAppleNetworkingoperating systemswindows phone 7symbianiPhonesoftwareIDCPhonesconsumer electronicsWindows MobileTechnology TopicsTechnology Topics | Mobile

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Shane O'Neill

CIO (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?