MARKET ANALYSTS at IDC have predicted that Windows Phone will take almost 20 per cent of the smartphone market by 2016, overtaking Apple's IOS mobile operating system (OS).
According to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, Microsoft's market share will balloon to 19.2 per cent in 2016 from the 5.2 per cent market share it has today. Apple's share will drop from 20.5 to 19 per cent, IDC forecasted, and Android market share will slip from 61 per cent to 52.9 per cent.
"Windows Phone 7/Windows Mobile will gain share despite a slow start. Windows Phone 7/Windows Mobile will be aided by Nokia's strength in key emerging markets. IDC expects it to be the number 2 OS with more than 19% share in 2016, assuming Nokia's foothold in emerging markets is maintained," the report stated.
Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC's Mobile Phone Technology and Trends team said, "Underpinning the smartphone market is the constantly shifting OS landscape. Android will maintain leadership throughout our forecast, while others will gain more mobile operator partnerships (Apple) or currently find themselves in the midst of a major transition (BlackBerry and Windows Phone/Windows Mobile).
"What remains to be seen is how these different operating systems - as well as others - will define and shape the user experience beyond what we see today in order to attract new customers and encourage replacements."
According to IDC analysts Microsoft's growth will be fueled by Nokia's key strength in emerging markets, suggesting that budget Windows Phones such as the Lumia 610 and 710 handsets will be the company's key for Windows Phone becoming the number two mobile OS. µ