Just like doom and gloom predictions often end up sounding ridiculous (and often are even right at the time of posting), so does the opposite occasionally embarrass journalists. Overly optimistic forecasts are also a thing, albeit not quite as popular, and in today's Throwback Friday we wanted to talk about a shot so off the target it's almost unreal. Worse yet: it was actually a reputable research company that made it
IDC's 2012 forecast for 2016
Whether you've heard of IDC or not doesn't matter. Over time, it has established itself as one of the leading—and consistently reliable—sources for mobile industry analytics. But back in 2012, IDC made a forecast so ridiculous that we just couldn't resist mentioning it: that Windows Phone would, by 2016, overtake Apple's iOS by market share.
That's a pretty bold claim, especially given the company reported that Windows Phone, at the time, held just 5.2% of the market. Nevertheless, the report in question forecast that it'll end up beating iOS, which had a little over 19% of the pie. Android was expected to fall down to about 53% from its respectable 61% share in 2012. To put these number in perspective, the latest IDC numbers put Android at nearly 83%, Apple's iOS at about 14%, and Windows Phone... at 2.6%. Yep, exactly half the market share Microsoft's mobile OS held back in 2012.
The moral of the story? Everybody makes mistakes—even gross ones such as this—and we all ought to be careful with the conclusions we make. Or just steer clear from prophesying.