back to article Win Phone to outgrow smartmobe market for next four years

Abacus-wielder IDC has issued a new set of prognostications about the mobile phone market, predicting that 1.447 billion of them will ship this year. That's a lovely number, but its lower than the firm has previously predicted. The lower figure – and growth of 11.3 per cent instead of 11.8 per cent – can be attributed to China …

  1. king of foo

    Bovine Excrement.

    Apple to LOSE market share

    To Microsoft

    Re SmartPhones?

    Ha. Ha ha ha. A-hahahahahaha.

    I will neither buy an apple nor a ms smartphone, but this is insane.

    I confidently predict that the "other" category will take share from android, as will apple, but windows will continue to flop. Yes they will sell more but because the market is expanding not because the tide turns. Unless they do something clever to win over the corporate/business market.

    Also, the apple numbers look a little low, but I reckon there's a thriving 2nd hand market that isn't being covered. Androids likely end up in landfill or "man drawers" more frequently than being sold but every iPhone owner I know has sold their old model on when a new one comes out.

    1. AndyS

      Re: Bovine Excrement.

      Also known as "this report doesn't fit my world view, so it must be rubbish."

      The interesting thing about reports and predictions from experts is that, sometimes, if you listen to them, they can tell you something you didn't already know. But I guess if you already know everything, they're not much use to you.

      1. king of foo

        Re: Bovine Excrement.

        The interesting thing about "forecasts" and "predictions" is that 4 times out of 7 you can just make up the numbers and everything looks plausible and well researched. I spend most of my working life looking at and composing bollocks like this.

        Me, I know next to nothing about selling mobile phones, but bollocks? Yes. If you ever have any testicle related problems I'm your man. The girls in the office are always complaining I don't have any framed photos on my desk so feel free to send me selfies...

    2. -dp-

      Re: Bovine Excrement.

      I agree with you in regards to Apple phones having a great second hand market. Every apple phone i have owned has been passed onto a family member to use if not sold. They hold their price surprisingly well.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bovine Excrement.

      "but windows will continue to flop"

      WP is already taking about 25% of the UK enterprise phone market. 5.4% global market share in 2019 sounds rather conservative to me.

      Windows Phone outperforms Android for security, battery life and performance, and WP10 looks like filling most of the capability gaps. The only thing really notable is the lack of some apps on WP, and Microsoft seem to have recently provided a simple way to port apps, so maybe that problem is going away too...

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Bovine Excrement.

        Haven't you got a better job to do, like testing Windows (Phone) 10?

      2. Zane

        Re: Bovine Excrement.

        What drug are you on?

        All I see is frustrated WinMobe users - can't use that thing for anything. Smartphone? Boohaha...


        OK - I admit. I have even met 2 people that actually liked their Windows phone.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bovine Excrement.

      I doubt it. IT departments no longer get to dictate what hardware is purchased and supported. Apple iOS devices are frankly dreadful in a corporate environment, yet its the end users in positions of power who decide what is purchased and supported. Unfortunately that means iPhones and iPads.

      The consumer now decides Corporate buying patterns. :(

  2. Richard Plinston

    It's 2011 again, again.

    June 2011:

    """IDC: Windows Phones to Overtake iPhone iOS by 2015 ...

    Jun 12, 2011 - IDC predicts Android will have 43.8 percent of the market in 2015, followed by Windows Phone at 20.3 percent. Apple's iOS will trail at 16.9 ..."""

    June 2012:

    """IDC claims Windows Phone will overtake IOS in 2016- The ...

    Jun 7, 2012 - MARKET ANALYSTS at IDC have predicted that Windows Phone will take ... by 2016, overtaking Apple's IOS mobile operating system (OS)."""

    1. Philippe

      Re: It's 2011 again, again.

      A friend of mine used to be an analyst at IDC.

      Microsoft is (was) their biggest customer, and as such, Analysts should always publish whatever Microsoft wanted to hear.

      She eventually got sick of it, and left.

  3. hplasm

    IDC predict Microsoft deal with Kelloggs.

    A WinPhone in Every Box!

    1. present_arms

      Re: IDC predict Microsoft deal with Kelloggs.

      Where the cornflakes are worth more than the phone :P

      I only part kid

  4. AMBxx Silver badge

    Bit of love for BlackBerry?

    Just back from holiday, been using my Lumia 1020 and my wife's BlackBerry Q10 for 2 weeks.

    Must admit, if my Lumia broke tomorrow, I'd be seriously thinking of a BB. The OS is far superior to any of the other 3 - none of those annoying soft buttons or accidental key presses. Nor the dumb idea of one big button you keep bashing away on. Just swipe from the side or top. Email far superior as is contact management.

    I'd switch just for the excellent universal search - start typing and all your email, contacts and phone settings are searched instantly.

    Screen's a lot smaller, but by the time you have a soft keyboard displayed on a touch screen phone, you've more space with the BB.

    Crap for games and camera, but not so important to me.

    Can we have an icon for BB user?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      Status: B.B. is loving his new Blackberry

      Here's BB gaining another user:

      ‘They've got you too!’ he cried.

      ‘They got me a long time ago,’ said O'Brien with a mild, almost regretful irony. He stepped

      aside. From behind him there emerged a broad-

      chested guard with a long black truncheon in his

      hand. ‘You know this, Winston,’ said O'Brien. ‘Don't deceive yourself. You did know it — you have

      always known it.’

    2. Yugguy

      Re: Bit of love for BlackBerry?

      I'm with you on that one. Pretty much all the major android manufacturers are in bed with Google which I DO NOT WANT, Lollipop is garish SHITE and WinPhone, well just no.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bit of love for BlackBerry?

      "I'd be seriously thinking of a BB"

      I wouldn't. BB are dying a slow death and are desperately trying to flog their devices business. Likely they will only be able to sell the patents and will have to close their handset operations. So they probably won't be around to provide updates or deal with warranty issues for too much longer.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: Bit of love for BlackBerry?

        I said love, not realism.

        Will be a shame if they go as they're the only company producing distinctive phones. All the others just have various sized slabs with a big touch screen. I know BB have one of those too, but that's not the one I'm after.

        1. Paul Shirley

          Re: Bit of love for BlackBerry?

          I miss my HTC G1, sadly the market voted for touch screen slabs and slider keyboards vanished on Android. Completely agree the onscreen keyboard can be an unusable PIA.

          However I don't miss it enough to use a BB style small screen+small keyboard solution (or regularly plug in the keyboard I bought more than a year ago) and suspect BB is the uncontested owner of a shrinking niche format.

          The market continue to care more about the case the phone is in than the phone in the case ;)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Hmm, didn't IDC publish a certain study at the behest of mysterious backers a few years ago ?

    Seems you get The Facts results you pay for

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IDC


      That's certainly true if you pay for a supported version of Linux.


    IDC are as reliable as Gartner.

    They print what you tell them to print.

    1. GitMeMyShootinIrons

      Re: IDC are as reliable as Gartner.

      I have wondered about getting Gartner or IDC to write up a nice report based on my CV. Obviously, the industry will take it really seriously and everyone will offer me copious amounts of money....

      1. Naselus

        Re: IDC are as reliable as Gartner.

        "I have wondered about getting Gartner or IDC to write up a nice report based on my CV. Obviously, the industry will take it really seriously and everyone will offer me copious amounts of money...."

        I can see it now. "Random Reg commentard to have higher Market Share than iOS by 2018"...

  7. Stephen Wilkinson

    Much prefered my Samsung Galaxy SII to my current Lumia 735. Everything is a total pita! I haven't even managed to create ringtone following the instructions here that will appear in the list of ringtones available.

    All I had to do with the Android phone was choose "set as ringtone", didn't need to format the file in anyway.

    1. The Original Steve


      May I suggest instructions for your version of OS:

      To be honest, you shove on a MP3, WMA or M4R file into the ringtones folder (either via the file browser, OneDrive, plug it into a PC and use Windows Explorer etc.), then the ringtone is in your list.

      Go into the contact and assign it. Or go into settings and change your ringtone for the whole phone.

      Other than it being in MP3 or WMA I don't see how it's any more difficult than Android...?

      1. JimmyPage

        Other than it being in MP3 or WMA I don't see how it's any more difficult than Android...?

        Because it's *Windows* and therefore immediately unusable. Irrespective of reality.

        Smartphones (and their associated OSes) are to [some] a little like cars and "trim kits" used to be in the 90s. Your Ford fanbois would sneer at the Peugot Playboys, and both would ROTFLMAO when a Golf Gayboy walked in.

        and despite the fact that all cars have engines, gearlevers and pretty consistent instrumentation, the owner/driver of one would invariably "discover" that you had to do something "harder" in the other two marques.

        Listen to a Linux v. Windows "debate". It's the same thing.

      2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        Re: Ringtones

        To play devil's advocate for a sec...

        To be honest, you shove on a MP3, WMA or M4R file into the ringtones folder (either via the file browser, OneDrive, plug it into a PC and use Windows Explorer etc.), then the ringtone is in your list.

        Given the maturity of most smartphone OS this "copy it to the ringtones folder" should not be a necessary step.

        If Android (don't know about iOS so can't and won't make assumptions of it) can list all a user's music files without having to first assign them to specific folders, and allow selection of any one of those tunes to be either a ringtone for a specific contact or a general ringtone, why can't WinPhone do that?

        Why should users have to put a file into a specific folder before it can be used as a ringtone?

        Note that I am not saying this is complicated or difficult, just that to do it, you have to know this is a required step. On other OS it is not necessary, suggesting other OS have matured further.

        User-friendliness and OS maturity are about making things easier for the user, allowing them to find what they are looking for faster, and use what they find for common tasks as efficiently as possible.

        If WinPhone still needs users to put specific files in specific folders to perform common tasks, whereas other OS do not impose that requirement, that cannot help the perception WinPhone still has some growing up to do.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Zane

          Re: Ringtones

          Very nice answer. Seems we have some WinMobe fans here that never used an Android or an iPhone. What can I say - my iPhone just works.


        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ringtones

          I disagree slightly. I don't bother these days but a few ago I would use music as a ringtone but not the full song just the edited section of the song saved as a separate file. If the file is not specifically in the ringtone folder then just listening to my music on my phone may play the edited files I've set for ringtones if that make sense. So I do see some benefit of keeping them separate.

      3. Stephen Wilkinson

        Re: Ringtones

        Will try again over the weekend.

        I bought the phone because I thought (being Windows) I would just be able to drag & drop and not have the hassle of Android struggling with WMA names of bands and songs which it does sometimes.

        The file that I currently have in the Ringtones folder doesn't show up in the list of ringtones in settings which is where my frustrations come from!

      4. Stephen Wilkinson

        Re: Ringtones

        Actually this may be the really crucial bit -

        "Make sure that the custom ringtone is being copied from the computer to the correct folder on the phone. It cannot be copied from the SD card on the phone."

        As I copied the file to the Music section and then moved it using "Files" on the phone.

  8. Otto is a bear.

    Getting my cauldren out.....

    Microsoft will probably take market share from the corporates who like the integrated Microsoft drug. Although it the US courts get their way......

    Having used MS, iPhone, BB and Android, my preference is iPhone for me, BB for Business, Android can't decide, MS the bin, sadly I have another 15 months before I can ditch my Lumia business phone, by which time we will, in the UK, any way, be wall to wall Microsoft.

    Sorry, but MS's mobile really does feel like tomorrows legacy platform today, the only reason it will survive is because MS is very unlikely to give up.

    Mrs. Bear converted to iPhone from Android, and refuses to swap back, but loves my Samsung Note 10, which she also won't give me back.

    1. GitMeMyShootinIrons

      Re: Getting my cauldren out.....

      I don't see the US or EU courts getting in the way of MS here. Their mobile market share is too small and there's nothing in the integration pitch that Google or Apple don't do to some extent (better or worse), plus MS offer their services on all platforms (as do Google, but not Apple). Hard to argue competition in this case.

      My order of choice would be MS, iPhone, BB and Android. Android bottom for me, simply because it's a fiddly pain in the ass to look after and use, inconsistent between makes and models (making it a pain to manage). Security is questionable, patches infrequent. Not a convincing recipe as a business device. It's redeeming feature is the mobile Chrome browser is good.

      I like iPhone, but frankly its overpriced for what you get - and there's no such thing as cheap. BB does seem a little 'burning platform' these days. Windows Phone is evolving nicely, MS keep it maintained far more than the Droid manufacturers manage to and the handset range of pricing rivals Android (from bargain basement to top of the line).

      Of course, experiences vary, but having owned or looked after a number of each, I'll stick with Windows for now (not that I believe this IDC report mind you...).

  9. werdsmith Silver badge

    Winphones are cheap, bargain bucket cheap. There;s always some offer for £70 ish ones.

    It must be tough making money from making them. Unless they are being subsidised to try and get market share.

    1. Hellcat

      You can buy an Android for £20, with no money from the app store going to the manufacturer, so it can't cost that much to make a handset.

    2. Sandtitz Silver badge

      "Winphones are cheap, bargain bucket cheap. There;s always some offer for £70 ish ones."

      You make it sound like a bad thing but I'm glad that a fine smartphone like the Lumia 640 can be bought for a mere 100 pounds.

      Microsoft likely doesn't make a lot of money (if at all?) from Phone sales. But they are banking on the idea that the user base grows enough so that the ecosystem brings money. "You Have To Spend Money To Make Money". Google and Apple spent millions into Android/iPhone business before a single phone was on sale.

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      I doubt MS make much. Although I believe not having full multi-tasking, and the OS being quite efficient means that they can get away with cheaper processors and less RAM - and still have a phone that works well.

      For example, 5 years ago my old HTC Wildfire on Android 2.2 sometimes used to stutter with no apps running on its sad 350MB of RAM. My Mum's Lumia 630 runs as smoothly as anything on only 500MB now, although I'm not sure if that will update to Win Pho 10. But then she paid £60 for it on my recommendation.

      Since she got it in April, I've had one call asking me how to do stuff. Much better than I was expecting - and much less trouble than she had learning the iPad.

      It's a really nice phone. And the apps available in the Marketplace are far better than when I had one (Win Pho 7.5) 3 years ago. There's still quite a lot missing though. It's not as good as an iPhone, but an iPhone is nowhere near ten times better - but it is ten times the price!

      My next phone will be a slightly better £100-£200) Lumia or 'Droid, with a nicer camera. I like the simplicity and big buttons of the Lumia, and mostly use apps on my tablet. I would not recommend Android to anyone who's not good with computers though, it still seems too complicated.

  10. Matthew 17

    4 million phones per day

    Does anyone stop to consider how this is done, the materials to be dug out of the ground, a lot of them are rare, to be processed, manufactured, assembled and tested, the logistics of boxing up 4 million phones EVERY day to post them out is mind boggling.

    Mr. Musk better start mining asteroids / The Moon quickly the cost of IT is going to go through the roof when all the materials required to make your IC's and screens becomes too rare to be viable.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 4 million phones per day

      That's was what I was thinking of. True, the rare earths aren't that significant individually but that's a whole lot of phones!

      1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        ...rare earths aren't that significant individually...

        Nor actually "rare". Relatively abundant, just not usually concentrated like other ores...

        and many other sources...

    2. Hellcat

      Re: 4 million phones per day

      I was fairly impressed by Apple's ability to drop however many hundreds of thousands every hour in order to satify their demand at launch time, even taking into account the manufactured scarcity. But overall, as an industry 4 MIIIIILLION a day is bonkers.

      Then again, I'm equally impressed with how much of everything else we take for granted. The amount of tarmac used to create just the UK road network - how big a pile would that that be, and would it be enough to fill in all the potholes?

      1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        potholes volume <= road volume

        The amount of tarmac used to create just the UK road network - how big a pile would that that be, and would it be enough to fill in all the potholes?


        Well, yeah... even if potholes made up 100% of the UK road surface - and they pretty much do round my way - by very definition potholes volume must be less-than-or-equal-to road volume.

        Assuming you are generalising about use of tarmac of course, since roads aren't just made of tarmac and potholes can penetrate the substrate.


        Icon = pedantic git

        1. AMBxx Silver badge

          Re: potholes volume <= road volume

          Not necessarily. If the pothole is deeper than the road surface and extends into the ground beneath the base of the road, then the pothole volume could be greater.

          Knew I bought a Land Rover for a reason ;)

  11. Tristan Young

    Sounds like wishful thinking

    I work in an environment where everyone shows everyone else the latest technology, the latest must-have apps, and the customers are very tech-savvy.

    I've never seen a WinPhone owner show off some cool app to everyone. I've never heard anyone say it's an absolute delight. What I do hear is how people just wanted a phone, and didn't care what OS it had, but if they could do it again, they'd buy an Android or iPhone.

    People who I thought would be long-time Blackberry users ended up switching, but not to WinPhone or iPhone as I would have thought - almost always to Android.

    The epic failure of bluetooth in Lollipop 5.0.2 aside, today's Android phones work pretty slick. With an ever-increasing hatred for Microsoft, it will be difficult for them to get the numbers they're anticipating. That's why it's not called guaranteed. Making millions of phones and selling them to dealers is not the same thing as getting them into the hands of customers, and Microsoft will find that latter part very difficult.

    Meanwhile customers that are already using android or iphone have probably amassed a bunch of paid apps they really enjoy, and won't want to re-purchase for a different platform. If not for that point alone, maybe they just don't want to mess with a winning formula - if it ain't broke, don't fix it by switching to a platform you're not familiar with. As stats go - many other people aren't familiar with either.

    1. RyokuMas

      Re: Sounds like wishful thinking

      I've never seen a WinPhone owner show off some cool app to everyone. I've never heard anyone say it's an absolute delight.

      That's because as soon as you do, you get a bundle of people immediately accusing you of being a "Microsoft shill"

    2. CADmonkey

      Re: Sounds like wishful thinking

      Nokia 925 owner here...

      Very happy with it, too. The OS suits a phone (as in, it's not trying to be a scaled-down desktop), I've got a stack of apps (some of them are even useful) the voice recognition is frighteningly efficient, the camera does lots of tricks, build quality is very good. All-in-all it's pretty solid.

      Every chav and his mother has an iphone these days.

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Sounds like wishful thinking

      Perhaps the tech savvy aren't using Windows Phone? MS seem to have given up on the high end, and don't seem to have taken advantage of all the camera goodness that Nokia was putting into their top phones about the time of the sale. Which were features worth bragging about. I was hoping to go for one of those nice cameras, when they got to the mid-price bit of the market.

      But I know a few basic users who are very happy. Smartphones are nicer for texts, and although it's a little more complicated to make calls, it's much easier to maintain your address book. Plus you get mapping and email. Win Pho is very good at all of those. Who needs more in a phone?

      Well lots of people of course, and if you want the best apps you're better of elsewhere. But for a basic, decent quality smartphone there's little wrong with the cheaper Lumias. If you get one as a first smartphone and then want to be using a lot as a mobile computer, its limitations could get frustrating.

      My iPad is my mobile computer. My phone is for work, comms and a bit of mapping or emergency looking stuff up online when out-and-about. If I really want apps, I can tether the two together, and go online with a decent sized screen. Different people have different needs.

      My current phone is an iPhone 5 from work. Of our batch of 6, one got lost 2 didn't make the first year and had to be replaced under warranty - and both of those have since started going wrong (mine is having random battery problems and a dodgy button after maybe 14 months since the replacement). One other made 18 months, one hardly gets used, and the last one has been bashed to hell but survived kids, and constant facebooking/texting. Oh and the address book is the worst of any smartphone I've ever used (including my old Sony Ericsson P800...) I think I shall be pointing the company credit card at a replacement mid-priced Lumia or a Samsung Galaxy Note, now we've gone SIM only.

      1. old man

        Re: Sounds like wishful thinking

        Well I'm on my second Lumia a 735 which like the 520 before it has often been dropped on concrete and tiled floors without taking much notice apart from the back of the 520 flying off and the battery shooting out most every time ,my old Nokia e71 always managed to keep its back on even when dropped onto concrete from half way up a ladder . While its rare to see an iphone which doesn't have one or more cracks on it's screen. The other main thing about iphone is terrible quality of speech it seems to chop off the end of every other word I am always asking folk who call me from iphone to call back when they get near a landline. Wonder why apple can't fix this Nokia always had excellent sound quality.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "while they waited for larger-screened iPhones"

    Am I the only one who doesn't want his phone to become a tablet, or his tablet to become a laptop?

    If a phone doesn't comfortably fit into the pocket of my trousers, I won't buy it.

    If a tablet requires more than two hands to operate it (or stands, or surfaces [no pun here, promise!]), I won't buy it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "while they waited for larger-screened iPhones"

      Am I the only one who doesn't want his phone to become a tablet, or his tablet to become a laptop?

      Yes. You are. And we know all about you.

  13. OGShakes

    I can see this happening

    I work in IT, one of my friends who is a Trade Paint Supplier and my Mum who is Mad/Stupid/Old got windows phones. Both found them easy to use and fast, even my Mum with the bottom of the range one. I tried them and thought it wouldn't hurt to get the 1020 for the camera knowing the cooling off period would end 2 days after I returned from holiday. I would not go back to Android if you paid me now and my work supplied iPhone is only used to make calls, all my work email is done on my windows phone.

    My Wife prefers her iPhone as do some of my team at work, but those who have given MS a chance have all been presently surprised. My Boss has decided that when the contracts end we will have midrange windows phones as our new handsets.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When in doubt

    IDC and Gartner always predict that Microsoft will take share from everyone else. Doesn't matter if they are talking desktop OS, browser, consoles, music players, phones or vibrators, Microsoft's market share is always better in the future than it is today, for any value of "today".

    Just don't look at their track record, they don't like that.

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