Smartphone growth to continue, growth rate slows, Windows Phone share moves up

Smartphone growth to continue, growth rate slows, Windows Phone share moves up
IDC expects 2012 to show a year-over-year growth of 1.4% in the mobile phone market. That is the lowest growth rate in the past three years, despite record sales.

IDC forecasts that global smartphone sales will reach 224.5 million units in the fourth quarter of this year. That represents 39.5% annual growth in that segment alone, driven by you the consumer. However, it is down a bit from expected growth of a little over 45% and unit sales will be short of the 717.5 million mark.

Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC pins that on the overall economy, “Sluggish economic conditions worldwide have cast a pall over the mobile phone market this year. However, the fourth quarter will be relatively bright due in part to sales of high-profile smartphones, such as the iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S3, in addition to lower-cost Android-powered smartphones shipped to China and other high-growth emerging markets.”

Smartphone operating systems will not see much movement at the top, but IDC predicts strong growth for Windows Phone 8, citing valuable experience learned by the carriers in offering an operating system whose user experience is an outlier in the smartphone segment. Android is forecast to be the leader in market share by a wide margin, with Samsung maintaining its position as lead manufacturer in that space. Expectations are that Android’s market share will compress from 68% this year, to about 64% in 2016. IDC made a point of noting that LG and Sony would be seen as resurgent brands for the year.

iOS will distinctly be in the number two spot, and Apple’s popularity will maintain steady growth. The price point of the iPhone, however will present a hindrance to Apple from making deep inroads to emerging markets. IDC floats the notion that Apple will need to consider a less expensive iPhone model to offer, or volume will always trail Android handsets.

BlackBerry and Windows Phone will be in the most competitive contest for third place. BlackBerry will hold on to third place in the near term, but growth will be relatively flat despite continued strength in Indonesia and South America. Windows Phone on the other hand, is expected to take third spot from RIM sometime next year, “with Nokia establishing its presence and HTC solidly jumping back into the race.” Windows Phone will extend that lead further into 2016, possibly gaining as much market share as 11%. That growth will be aided by continued manufacturer buy-in, particularly from Samsung, ZTE and Huawei.

Linux was billed as a “dark horse” with K-Touch growing its volume and Haier introducing its first Linux powered smartphone. In addition, IDC will be looking to see what impact, if any, Samsung’s Tizen and Jolla’s SailFish will have on the market.

source: IDC



23. snowgator

Posts: 3630; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Who is going hold IDC accountable in 2016 for these predictions? Love to see both BB10 and WP 8 huge successes. Android and iOS are in no way threatened by them, but 4 OS options would be great. If developers are willing to bet on RIM and MS, then they will all be fine and profitable. Be interesting to see if any other OS even has a chance to make it out of the gates. I count 4 more in Jolla, Mozella, the Tizen product, and HP pushing open sourced WebOS. Seems unlikely to think more then 4 can get enough traction to survive, don't it?

25. IDC.junk

Posts: 3; Member since: Dec 04, 2012

Don't you feel strange.... When there's only android and iOS to support. Some developer ignore android because android not as big/important as apple. but when WP7 & BB10 is WWAAAAYYYYYY smaller than android/iOS, developer love them... It's ALL LIE!!!!!!! It's all Microsoft FUD that were spread with astroturfer such as: * using Oprah Winfrey to said nice things about surface (the misscheff manage by Oprah Winfray to use ipad and got caught) * using IDC to create fake forcast to make WP8 looks cool

20. aco96

Posts: 244; Member since: Oct 12, 2012

This doesn't prove anything. When Android came out everyone thought that it won't even surpass iOS, and that Symbian will still be the most popular os...

19. allen83

Posts: 107; Member since: Mar 01, 2012

As for me let us just wait and see what will happen next. IDC said two names of OS the Tizen and Sailfish they said that they will have a hard time competing with the other OS yes its true but with great strategy and having a good relationship to carriers those two will succeed. Just like Bada it is not a well known OS but it was well perceive by the people. And for Jolla i hope them the best and I think that a true spirit of Nokia lives in them the Gentle Giant Nokia of the past

16. speckledapple

Posts: 902; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

Though I purchased my Galaxy Note 2 already, I can easily see Windows Phone gaining some serious market share after spending some time with the Nokia 920. That is one solid device.

18. tashreef

Posts: 476; Member since: Nov 24, 2012


14. Sarajevo

Posts: 38; Member since: Nov 30, 2012

Well, there was Nokia and Symbian number 1 in 2009 with almost 50% of market share, and look at them today. So, it can happen to iOS too. Or WP8 could receive an update and become even better than Android. In that case, WP can hold 50% of market share in 2016?! Also, there is not well known Jolla with ex-MeeGoo but brand new OS that could become hit on the market like Android was in 2010. So, these predictions for 4-5 years are non sense in mobile market...

11. Shino

Posts: 196; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

These predictions are usually very inacurate. However I believe that iOS will gain gust a little more, Android will fall dramatically to about 40-50% and WP will gain at least 30-40% if not even more. Only BB is a big unknown.

26. Joshing4fun

Posts: 1258; Member since: Aug 13, 2010

I agree. I know a lot of people who are getting tired of android and are looking at windows phone and (unfortunately) the iphone.

8. SonyXperiaNexus

Posts: 374; Member since: Oct 01, 2012

Thats all fine and dandy but...... get the f****** apps in the store quick.


Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

IDC is a liar. A paid company by microsoft. First time microsoft pay IDC when they launch the WP7 to create a hype but fail. I'm surprised that IDC/microsoft think can fool us twice. NO ONE WANT A WP PHONE.

17. tashreef

Posts: 476; Member since: Nov 24, 2012

i agree they are liar .. because the WP will acquire more than the prediction...

21. IDC.junk

Posts: 3; Member since: Dec 04, 2012

I really think that Microsoft should use the money to see why no one want their modern UI (WP7/WP8/W8) instead of giving it to IDC to create bogus analysis. Because from where I stand Microsoft is like a kid who yell “HELP, THERE'S A WOLF”. The first time microsoft pay IDC, some were fooled (2% WP user)... I don't think they will be fooled again for the second time after experiencing how awful the WP phone were. Here is some good read on why WP7 fail: * From WPCentral:​windows-phone * From Tomi:​nokia-lumia-and-windows-phone-8-will-fail-ie-will-​never-become-the-promised-third-ecosystem.html * From Eldar: & * From bussiness insider: additional material​akes-excitement-its-surface-tablet-launch/58417/​ml

22. freebee269

Posts: 543; Member since: Aug 10, 2012

that wpcentral article was in august, these nokia or htc phones werent even out yet let alone wp8. you can scrap that article. the "wp8 will fail" article obviously debunked its own self with how well phones with wp8 are selling. microsoft has ALWAYS kept their numbers tight liped. yet they are still around making profit. you can scrap that article. if nokia and htc keep making phones that ppl like and MS brings out updates for their OS (one is coming very soon), then any educated person can see that their stock and sales will keep going up. and thats not even including any other manufacturer that might want to jump in the game. i think the 11% market share in the future is a safe % that they threw out there. but honestly i could see it being more like 15%. alot depends on how well the lumia 920T does in china.

24. IDC.junk

Posts: 3; Member since: Dec 04, 2012

Which part of the 5 simple word you don't understand??? NO ONE WANT MICROSOFT PHONE. Microsoft even fake the people who line up see this:​​akes-excitement-its-surface-tablet-launch/58417​/ Don't think Nokia 920T could reach 15%. It would be go down to toilet too.

27. jed27

Posts: 65; Member since: Jun 09, 2012

Rebecca Greenfield, the so-called 'writer' of the article you linked, is the very reason I don't go to Atlantic Wire.

3. MixMaster

Posts: 18; Member since: Nov 09, 2012

I don't think Windows will gain so much market share. And iOS..i'm not quite sure if it will gain 1%. I'm an Android fan and user but let's face it. Apple's growth depends on just one event in these next 4 years. If they release a good iPhone they will gain more than 1% because they have a well established fan base and there are still many neutral customers which chose Android just because it was a cheap phone that was more than enough for them (I do not consider them Android fans, i think if something really nice is released by Apple, Nokia, Rim they will migrate). But if they will keep making these incremental updates I think they will loose market shares. And Android will gain more and more traction, of course slower than before, but i think this will happen because starting next year we will already see entry or feature phones with 4.2 on them. And 4.2 is a really powerfull piece of software to have on a 50-100-150-200 dollars unlocked phone. Like people were saying before that they do not need a smartphone because they just make calls and send texts, now they will say why spend 700-800 bucks on an iphone when a cheap Sony for example offers me Android 4.2 which basicaly offers you more than iOS 6 in my opinion.

5. Piyush91 unregistered

but phones don't ship with android 4.1 has been released for quite some time(let alone 4.2), but 50% phones are still stuck on Gingerbread... Thanks to manufacturers...

7. MixMaster

Posts: 18; Member since: Nov 09, 2012

I am aware of this. That's why I said that only starting next year we will see these 4.2 entry level phones. Maybe Q3 or Q4. And these GB phones will slowly disappear because thay will be replaced, not updated.

9. Piyush91 unregistered

but by that time android 5.0 would have released...and we will again be 2 or 3 generations behind...but i get your point...hope it happens....

12. MeoCao unregistered

Most of Gingerbread phones are in new markets where customer support are very poor and people there don't expect their phones to be upgraded. The only way for GB percentage to drop is people throw the phones and buy new ones.

2. mas11

Posts: 1034; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

Eh I think the iPhone is at its peak, in 4 years it will be just as popular as the Mac. If Microsoft plays its cards right they could take over 30% of the market.

1. Piyush91 unregistered

Thanks to Nokia For Windows Phone sale.

6. eisenbricher

Posts: 973; Member since: Aug 09, 2012

Such surveys don't hold any importance in the current pace of Market. It's predicting 4 years ahead and there the biggest mistake lies. Market changes at huge pace. Just before two years who could have predicted that MS is going to release such a promising OS, when market had only those old gen windows phones? I honestly think that the given changes don't stick to the timeline. Maybe this prediction come closer to truth in a nearby timeframe. But one thing must be kept in mind that, it is Running, not walking.

10. Piyush91 unregistered

+1 on that...

13. MeoCao unregistered

The real chance for WP is actually WP7 and not WP8. I can't see WP8 to win more market share as there are only 2-3 models with OG CPUs. There are die hard WP fans that will stick with the platform no matter what but not much beyond that. Normal people will buy Android or iPhone when they look for a top phone. But with low end phones things are different. WP7 is smooth and people just don't care what OS is in the phone, they may not need lots of apps either and Nokia brand is still strong in new markets like Africa or Asia. I read that Nokia has plan to release new cheap WP7 devices for new markets and that is very smart move.

15. tashreef

Posts: 476; Member since: Nov 24, 2012

yes i totally agree... Windows Phone 8 share will grow more then what they are predicting.... Android will lose Market shares strongly...

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