IDC: 2012 Belongs To Android, 2016 Will Be All About Windows Phone!

by Gaurav Kheterpal on June 8, 2012

Last March, IDC made a bold prediction that by 2015, Windows Phone will be the number two operating system worldwide behind Android. As I mentioned back then – as much as I respect and admire IDC research, the assumption that both Android and WP7 will outpace iOS sounded overly optimistic, at least to me.

However last month, the research giant acknowledged that “Windows Phone has yet to make significant inroads in the worldwide smartphone market”. However, IDC gives the benefit of doubt to the OS stating that 2012 should be considered “a ramp-up year for Nokia and Microsoft to boost volumes.”

And yesterday, IDC published another report which suggests that Android will ‘peak’ this year and Windows Phone will displace Apple iOS to become the number two OS running smartphones in 2016. Wait, haven’t I heard that before?

While I agree that it’s tough job making such tech predictions (which actually come true), I’m not sure the current state of Windows Phone inspires much confidence. Last month, my fellow blogger Jeff Wiener elaborated on why he believes Microsoft’s Windows Phone is a failure and I fully agree with him. Even IDC acknowledged that there will likely be only “slow growth” for Windows Phone. Perhaps, the persistent rumors of Microsoft eventually buying Nokia and the success of AT&T Lumia deals might improve Windows Phone’s future prospects but who knows?

For academic interest, IDC expects Windows Phone will capture a market share of 19.2 percent in 2016, up from just 5.2 percent this year. The research giant predicts Windows Phone will barely inch past the 19 percent share garnered by Apple’s iOS, down slightly from 20.5 percent this year.

As for Android, there’s no doubt that it has led the volume game for the last couple of years. However, the company’s limited success in the tablet segment has raised questions about whether Android has lost its mojo? Interestingly, both Gartner and IDC expect Android to hold a majority share of the phone market through 2016. IDC predicts unit sales of smartphones running Google’s Android mobile platform to hit 61 percent in 2012 and then decline to 52.9 percent by 2016.

IDC predicts that BlackBerry will hold about 6% of the market share by 2016. However, given RIM’s current state of affairs and the dipping stock value, I’m not sure whether the company will even make it to 2016.

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. Follow TheTelecomBlog.comby:RSS,TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

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