IDC predicts Android market growth to end, and Windows Phone to beat out iOS

IDC predicts Android market growth to end, and Windows Phone to beat out iOS
It looks as though Android's meteoric rise in the smartphone market may be coming to an end, at least according to a new report by IDC. The report says that Android's growth could end this year, and by 2016, Windows Phone may pull ahead of iOS. It's hard to believe though, given that we've seen a couple of reports from comScore showing Android sales are still on the rise. Of course, as far back as last year, Gartner was predicting similar numbers.

The numbers are looking at the overall smartphone market between 2012 and 2016. According to IDC, Android is expected to stay the dominant player in the market, although its share is expected to drop from 61% to just 53%. iOS and BlackBerry are expected to stay about even over the next 4 years, which is something of a surprise given the state that RIM is in right now. The big mover is expected to be Windows Phone. IDC is reporting that WP will jump from just 5.2% of the market this year to 19.2% in 2012, which would put it just above iOS, which IDC has at 19% four years from now. 

IDC is also saying that overall mobile phone shipments will grow from 1.7 billion handsets this year to 2.3 billion in 2016, with smartphones continuing to gain share and offset the decline of feature phones. 

At the least, IDC doesn't seem to expect much from newcomer Tizen, but overall we'd say the numbers seem reasonable, barring some sort of catastrophic move by one of the big players. 

source: IDC via BGR

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41 Comments

39. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

I want to know what sales figures and data the IDC came up to this conclusion. Windows has went down, not up, in marketshare from when Windows 7 came out to now, if you factor in Windows Mobile as well. Which, is only fair, when you consider that iOS and Android and Blackberry figures also factor in older OSs, so we have to be fair and consider Windows Mobile and WP7 together. Some WM people have not been migrating to WP7, but to other platforms. Now to be fair, the share of the smartphone market has increased when you factor in the increase in number of smartphone owners, but Microsoft's percentage of the total market has decreased, and still to this day they are lower than Blackberry and Symbian, platforms that are often cited as dead and/or outdated. And with the general consensus of PC users towards Windows 8 (i.e. they are hating it) and the fact that Microsoft has no tablet marketshare at all, there is absolutely nothing concrete to suggest that Microsoft will make any big growth in the market. Unless Microsoft unveils some must have feeature that can garner the fervor that people had for phones like the Iphone, Droid, HTC Evo, and similar phones that were able to make big gains in the marketshare for their platforms, I just don't see it happening.

38. ananya22

Posts: 93; Member since: Apr 23, 2012

Absolutely wrong. None of this is gonna happen. Android would grow upto 70% and ios would take up 25-29% WP WOULD BE 0.5%

37. satydesh

Posts: 71; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

android gained market share by consuming shares of symbian,bb and Win mob.It is clear that symbian,win mob and webOS has been abandoned It is clear now android has to loose share to the windows phone or IOS!!!

35. Suts_97

Posts: 130; Member since: May 05, 2012

Windows Phone can beat iOS but not Android, never!

34. isprobi

Posts: 797; Member since: May 30, 2011

Having tried Windows Phone I can see it catching iOS. Both of them cater to the unsophisticated phone user for the most part. And Apple limits the hardware sooooo much but WP gives some options. Android will eventually reach a limit but by covering all the price points and giving power users something to play with it will continue to sell well.

32. rudlie

Posts: 205; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

What?? Blackberry OS just reduce 0.1%? It will can not be. I'm user of blackberry but very doubt blackberry os just slide like this. WP not proven yet in current markets, I also doubt the growth can be that spectaculer. But I'm agree with IDC, because android market now has meet the anti klimaks. I believe WP will get some android markets but WP still can not compete ios and android in smartphone because the device still has high production cost and sales price. Don't forget, new OS' will come at the next few years, the analyst should count them too

30. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

ANALYST ARE BUNCH OF TURDS. Can't predict ANYTHING RIGHT

29. lzsbleach

Posts: 155; Member since: May 20, 2012

People dont see that Android keeps getting better every year. Some people just dont get it, they keep it fresh while improving. Android for phones might just be what windows is to PC's. If that happens everyone will jump on Android and thats why ios is so scared of them.

23. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

pretty much mirrors what I've been saying for a while.

25. good2great

Posts: 1042; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

i would like to see WP at the top with apple on its heels while android continues to out do technology. (android would be in 3rd but their phones will be bad a$$ tho)

33. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

It would take a miracle for android to be in 3rd. The open source of the OS makes it too pliable to become "boring" or "stale" like iOS or even WP might become, the fact that you can slap it on anything will keep options wide open, and yes the hardware race will keep chip nerds like myself enthused. And if you keep us enthused, we tell all of our buddies about it and convince them to buy our phones with its cool features, and the word of mouth spreads around. Unless a major unseen shift happens, I dont think you will see android under 40-50% market share any time soon. iOS will probably sit at like 15-20% and the rest will be WP and "other". RIM could still make a comeback, no matter how unlikely, and there is also Tinzen out there soon to make a dent.

21. eausten

Posts: 4; Member since: Jun 06, 2012

Total BS. First off, Android sales have been crazier then ever with the HTC and Samsung success. Also the estimated hit that the Lumia Nokia was supposed to have was an epic fail. Biased research.

11. wsucoug13

Posts: 164; Member since: May 04, 2012

i don't really agree with that chart

10. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

well well well , not surprised by the fandroid community up in arms on this news.. but yes everything does come to an end, they Android market needs an exterminator. is full of bugs....

12. tedkord

Posts: 17532; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Yeah, you don't troll. Not at all. We know everything comes to an end. You just know it because you witnessed it with iOS dominance. And, for the record, I hope WinMo does really well. I've always said the more the better. I'd have liked to see WebOS and WP both get good market share, because any one platform dominating means stagnation. I'd rather see 3 or 4 platforms with roughly equal pieces of the pie, constantly one upping each other. BTW, since iOS apps crash more than Android apps (scientifically shown), I suppose that exterminator should start in the app store.

13. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

me trolling is disputable.. what should not be disputable is that now then iphone coming to all major carriers and prepaid... Android will loose market share either to iOS or Windows is a fact.... go back two pages here in PA and there will be more articles about the bugs in the Play store than the App store.. truth hurts..

15. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Android fans are blind to the truth. That's why they come up with excuses whenever a new virus or malware pops up on Android. iOS moving to prepaid will surely put a huge sting on Android.

17. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

yep and ios is super secure right lol how do you think jailbreak exist because the os is not secure

22. matrix_neo

Posts: 334; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

Apple fans are blind to the truth. That's why they come up with excuses whenever a new prediction or news that android still dominate market shares. Windows phone is moving to new heights, surely it will put a huge sting to apple. Lol

19. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

these charts dont mean much...they are just someones view, decline of android and ios has been predicted so many times yet these companies that predict things always get proved wrong...of course when you keep on making the same prediction each year eventually it will come right...i could link you to another article that says android will continue dominating,does that mean its also true?

36. luxzy801

Posts: 140; Member since: Jun 16, 2010

actually, iOS will see a bigger decline with its addition to all major carriers and prepaid. The reason why iOS did so well in the beginning is not because it was a groundbreaking design (and no matter which system you are swearing by, you have to admit that it WAS groundbreaking), but because of exclusivity. When it becomes available everywhere, it wont be as cool as it was when it was just on at&t. It has happened before and it will happen again, just like it is now with iOS and iPhone. A perfect example is the MotoRAZR's exclusivity to T-Mobile, at one point in time, T-Mobile was actually predicted to surpass Sprint and become #3 beacuse of all the people switching to get the RAZR. Once the exclusivity ended and everyone had the RAZR, it went downhill and a very small amount of people even bothered to buy its successor (RAZR V8 and V9), which was actually 500 times better than the original V3. This is due to the fact that every manufacturer from Samsung to LG to Sony had a small, thin phone design which increased the competition for the RAZR (Just like Android and Windows Phone is to iOS). And because Apple made the same mistake as Motorola did and release essentially the same product over the years without anything groundbreaking (Realistically speaking as compared to thier interduction of the iPhone), they will see the same type of decline. It will happen to iOS when it becomes available everywhere, even if they develop something else groundbreaking, not a lot of people will pay attention to them. History always repeats itself and it will be evident this time around as well. However, because of the iPhone's and iOS's giant fanbase, I doubt it will drop off the map like the RAZR or like WinMo. It will be around just like Apple has been around for decades before it, it will have its own followers that will not abandon it for anything and will swear by it until it either dies out or replaced by a different product (ie WinMo and Windows Phone).

40. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

On the hand, the Tmobile G1, exclusive android to T-mobile, Android continued to Languish until the Motorola Droid almost 18 months later. The Palm Pre, exclusive to Sprint, 18 months later Palm was sold to HP. Your logic doesn't compute. Yes, the exclusivity may have helped AT&Ts fortunes. However, exclusivity is usually bad instead of good. Also, the Iphone gained noticeable upticks in sales when they introduced it to Verizon and Sprint, both of them combined have about 140 million customers, meaning 140 million people that didnt have access to the Iphone before, meaning 140 million potential new customers. It may have lost some cool factor, but its growing and holding off further gains on Android due to NOT being exclusive. Facebook overtook Myspace because it decided to no longer be exclusive to colleges and open it up for everyone.

41. luxzy801

Posts: 140; Member since: Jun 16, 2010

The exclusivity helped the iPhone out, which is the reason why it became so popular. It was almost like a limited edition thing, where you can only get it at a certain place. If ithe iPhone whould have launched on all networks at once, it would have been no different than, say, the HTC one series launch several weeks back. But the exclusivity is what eventually going to kill the iPhone, because it has been exclusive for so long allowing strong competition to build up around it to where the iPhone is not the best thing out there anymore and everyone competing with it is making better, more powerful cell phones by the day. As for the phones you mentioned, you know as well as I do that none of those phones were groundbreaking by any means. The G1 was completely horrible and HTC did not have any faith in android when they were building it up. The Pre was something that should have come out years prior, if it would have, it might have kept Palm in business, however, it was too little too late. And the droid series: the only reason why those commercials and those units are on anybody's mind is because it is still exclusive, look at the constant feed of people on verizon and switching to verizon to get the Droid RAZR and Droid RAZR MAXX devices, only because it is exclusive. To break it down, exclusivity was what made the iPhone so great, because it was almost as if it was rare and you can only get it in one place. It was also groundbreaking, because it was the first "smartphone" for an average user, something that Palm and WinMo devices could not achieve. If not for the Exclu

16. matrix_neo

Posts: 334; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

It's just a prediction, and no can tell exactly what will happen next. Im sure android still dominate the market share., for instance windows will beat ios for sure. Android and windows phone gives you choices, not with apple. That's what consumers wants, not being dictated what they should have. Bugs are just part of os, and glad android has doing something to eliminate it. Ios are left behind now, once they released something new, im sure android has it already, that's the time apple will out of the picture.

31. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

well well suprise to see you get 12 red thumbs

9. tedkord

Posts: 17532; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Can you imagine? Apple would need to spend their whole R&D budget on lawyers to stifle the innovation of two major platforms.

7. IDC_again

Posts: 3; Member since: Jun 06, 2012

IDC again... LOL This is the most FAILED analyst of them all. They always predict good percentage for WP. I wonder how much MS pay them. Last time, they predict that most of Nokia user will became WP user, thus WP will have around 10%+ by now.... LOL... IDC... FAILED

14. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

I'm more surprised that they predict Blackberry to still be around by then.

5. eDiesel

Posts: 142; Member since: Mar 17, 2012

Hogwash. It will happen when pigs fly. You'll never pry an iPhone out of an isheeps hand.( or hoof)

27. nb2six

Posts: 298; Member since: Apr 27, 2011

Scientists are currently working on the flying pig. Bacon with wings is in the near future.

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