Throwback Friday: IDC once predicted that Windows Phone will dominate iOS by 2016

Throwback Friday: IDC once predicted that Windows Phone will dominate iOS by 2016
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.

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.

source: IDC



1. baskar1086

Posts: 13; Member since: Sep 17, 2015

I doubt that they may published that article on April-01-2012

13. sgodsell

Posts: 7598; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Just last quarter alone should tells a lot. 399 million smartphones sold from October to the end of December. 74.8 million were Apple for (18.7%). 4.5 million were Windows Phone/10 mobile (1.1%). 319 million were Android (80.1%) The real story is Android and its continued growth. Way to go Android.

2. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

The Lumia 520 wasn't going dominate anything. It was just really affordable and it did what it did really well. They were going to dominate with their design, specs, or store. I predicted this and I was right. lol

3. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

I meant to say they "WEREN'T going to dominate". lol Too bad we can't edit anymore.

4. Tizo101

Posts: 604; Member since: Jun 05, 2015

the title should have mentioned that Android was predicted to fall but it only grew... you guys are on fire today lol

8. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Yup yup. I remember many folks just laughing at Android.... Look whose laughing now. R.I.P. Palm and WP. BB and Win Mo is on its last legs.... Many of us back then were like ??? at this.

5. Unordinary unregistered


6. magnanimus

Posts: 565; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

What's up with all these Pro-Apple propaganda articles

20. nighthawk_al

Posts: 55; Member since: May 23, 2014

You maybe do not frequent this site too much, or you wouldn't be surprised.

7. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

Not that I'm an Apple fan, but really kudos to them not letting the naysayers get the best of them, in other words, IN YOUR FACE WINDOWS!

9. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

And I wonder if these same analyst predicted consoles to be dead because the Wii U was flopping all over the place in 2012, 2013. The PS4, Xbox One launched and put that madness to rest. Consoles arent dead...just Nintendo home consoles are. For now. Good luck Nintendo with the NX.

10. abdiel

Posts: 7; Member since: Jan 08, 2016

Still waiting for the "surface phone"

12. darkkjedii

Posts: 31621; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

That emoji says it all.

14. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

When all of your mobile lines (Surface + Phones) are making less than the Apple Watch, your lineup isn't a joke, it's the punchline.

16. khalimany

Posts: 15; Member since: Jan 29, 2016

comment of the year!

17. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Ice cold.

18. JasonDragon

Posts: 7; Member since: Dec 17, 2014

Do people really think that having only iOS and Android as the only phone choices is a good future? The first charges an arm and a leg, while the 2nd mines every bit of your data that they can. Things will not be better if Microsoft and Blackberry leave this market and others such as Firefox and Amazon find it next to impossible to enter it. We need to encourage more competition, not root for less.

19. Chris.P

Posts: 567; Member since: Jun 27, 2013

I agree completely. I'd like nothing more than a serious third—even fourth—player to be able to compete. Unfortunately, at this point it's looking like it can't be done. People like poking fun at Microsoft, but if a company that size can't get it done, there's little hope for other players. Perhaps when we're looking at the next big paradigm shift, we'll see new faces enter the arena. Until then, duopoly it is.

21. nighthawk_al

Posts: 55; Member since: May 23, 2014

This. But tell it to fanboys

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