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Thursday, March 31, 2011

WP7 Predicted To Outgrow Android, WebOS MIA

Market researchers from IDC expect Google’s Android to capture more than twice the smartphone platform market share of Apple’s iOS this year. However, it’s growth will slow down and the opportunity will transition to Windows Phone 7 (WP7), which will become a more popular smartphone OS than Apple’s iOS.
IDC believes that Android will hold 39.5% of the smartphone market by the end of the year, which is predicted to be ahead of 20.9% of Nokia’s Symbian, Apple’s iOS with 15.7% and RIM’s 14.9% of Blackberry. Windows Phone 7 and Windows Mobile are waiting at the back of the field with a share of 5.5%.
However, IDC expects Microsoft to come roaring back and grow WP7 shipments by an average of 67.1% every year, which would give Microsoft the spot behind Android in 2015. IDC expects Android’s growth to slow to 23.8% per year, the iOS compound annual growth rate to 18.8% and Blackberry’s growth to an average of 17.1%. The result for 2015? Android holds 45.4% of the market, followed by WP7 with 20.9%, iOS with 15.3% and Blackberry with 13.7%. Is it just me or is HP’s WebOS missing in this list? Perhaps it is part of “others”, which account for 4.6% of the market, which would mean that HP’s $1.2 billion investment in acquiring Palm won’t be paying off. There was no information how much market share WebOS may hit, but at less than 5%, it would be a fish dead in the water.
IDC’s predictions are largely based on the fact that WP7 will soon be running on Nokia phones (2012), but there is some general doubt whether this alliance will pay off as Nokia and Microsoft expect it to. Nokia recently laid out substantial risks in the adoption of the platform, there are risks of Microsoft alienating its other partners through the Nokia relationship and WP7 is a largely unproven platform with challenges as far as the platform creation, including the Windows Marketplace, is concerned. The stars have to align for Microsoft in order to be able to come close to IDC’s prediction. We would take this forecast with a grain of salt and wait until we are seeing a stronger move toward WP7 and improved shipment numbers.
“Android is poised to take over as the leading smartphone operating system in 2011 after racing into the number 2 position in 2010,” said Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC’s Mobile Devices Technology and Trends team. “For the vendors who made Android the cornerstone of their smartphone strategies, 2010 was the coming-out party. This year will see a coronation party as these same vendors broaden and deepen their portfolios to reach more customers, particularly first-time smartphone users.”


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