By the end of 2016 Windows Phone OS will own 19.2% of the smartphone market share, IDC says

Ian Hardy

June 6, 2012 9:07 pm


The wireless market is continually changing. Technology is getting faster, more powerful and easier to use. Samsung, Nokia, Apple, RIM, HTC and LG are at war with everyday to gain more market share, so to predict what will happen in 4 years seems like a stretch… but anything is possible.

Research firm IDC has gone on record and stated that by the end of 2012 Google’s Android OS will have a whopping 61% market share, followed by Apple’s iOS in second place with 20.5% of the smartphone market share. Coming in 3rd will be RIM’s BlackBerry brand with 6% of the market, then Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 with 5.2% and Nokia’s Symbian with 4.9%. These stats, based on Q1 results, seem achievable. However, looking way into 2016, IDC is predicting that Android, iOS and BlackBerry market share will all fall, representing 52.9%, 19%, 5.9% respectively. Picking up the slack is Windows Phone, who’ll significantly rise to become the second most powerful smartphone OS on the planet with 19.2% market share.

To gain 14% market share in the next few years is certainly something to reach for. IDC says that “Windows Phone 7/Windows Mobile will gain share despite a slow start,” but their success is “assuming Nokia’s foothold in emerging markets is maintained.” In addition, for Microsoft to get the silver medal they will really have to nail the upcoming Windows Phone 8 experience.

Source: IDC
Via: Phone Arena

  • lukeiphone

    Thats IF blackberry lasts till 2016 :P

  • jellmoo

    Um… wow… I’m a big fan of Windows Phone, and even I don’t believe that.

  • Bob

    I am not sure if Windows having 16% is more improbable than Blackberry still being there…

  • Rim is a failure

    How much did Microsoft pay for this study?

  • Rick Whitley

    I went back and looked at IDC’s last prediction and they are so far off it’s laughable.

    You might as well just ask me for a prediction and go with that. Also the headlines for any IDC prediction I see is always about Windows Phone. Makes me feel like these “predictions” are being paid for by someone.

  • Joephus

    This must be one easy job. How do I join?

  • Bob

    IDC also predicted way more than 3% for Windows Phone in 2012. They were wrong.

  • TouchMyBox

    Windows Phone as big as iOS?

    That’s comedic gold right there.

  • Jaures Chabalier

    We can already see the 2014 ones failing…

  • SkyDome

    Considering Windows 8 and Metro, I am not sure Windows (as in computer/desktop/laptop/tablet OS) will have 16% in 2016.

    Windows Phone is a flop and Microsoft will end up bying Nokia on the cheap now that Mr. Elop managed to lower the price.

  • gwydionjhr

    I’m a WP fanboy, and I don’t think those numbers for WP are too far off the mark. WP’s traction here in Canada is verging on being the worst in the world, so our view of things is a little skewed.

    However, even I have a hard time giving any credibility to an study that sights Windows MOBILE in their stats.

  • aregularonhofo

    Saying Windows phones are a flop is totally idiotic, it’s a brilliant OS and stable for the period it has been out…furthermore the regular updates will attract many new customers using MS computers/laptops and Nokia lovers will eventually adapt to it easily. Compared to Android it is already proving to be better in many ways and the simplicity is amazing. For people who enjoy bricking their phones, spending days and months fiddling with new ROMS and having this as a hobby it may be great, however in terms of memory/battery life/etc Android loses it’s appeal fast and considering cheaper phones never get updated I give more credibility to Windows…regardless at what percentage they’ll be in the future they will be successful and every new version may surprise you. MS is not playing games and obviously they’re serious about competing.

    • SkyDome

      Saying “Saying Windows phones are a flop is totally idiotic” is idiotic.

      Definition of the flop is that something did not even remotely acheive market or mind share as originally expected.
      Regardless how good you think it is, if it is not popular and stuck at less than 5% share after 2 years, IT IS A FLOP.

    • Han

      So, all the same reasons why people are buying iPhones? How does this displace Apple, exactly?

  • andy c

    we may have a better idea at the end of this month regarding future predictions when ios6 and wp8 are shown off/sneek peeked.

  • ace

    lol “picking up slack” windows/nokia… what have you been doing so far? oh wait you will do something by 2016? set realisitic targets for yourself… LOL

  • trolling187

    This must be a joke because rim won’t even be around in 2016

  • Mad B

    So this info is useful how??

  • Nick p

    4 years is an eternity in this space. Apple will be near or at the end of Jobs’s roadmap, carriers, Nokia and Microsoft will continue to invest millions in marketing and R&D. Remember, MS has deep pockets and many more resources than Apple. I don’t know folks…this prediction seems reasonable. Windows 8 plus the dozens of slick, new, yet somehow familiar tablets will set the stage for the coming few years and I don’t think it will be the epic fail that anti-MS crowd wants to believe…things are getting interesting!

  • mike

    lol lmao lol I’m laughing real hard with this prediction lol. for one blackberry will not be around in 2016 and second windows phone will slide way down to 0.0000000000001 percent by 2016. windows phone sucks nothing to talk about. iOS for one has a difficult time keeping up to android as it is.My prediction for 2016 is 98% market share for android. 1.5% for iOS and .5% for everything else.

  • jonny

    Windows OS’s are garbage. People put up with it with computers because no one is competing with them except apple which is 4 times the price.

    Windows phones will continue to lose market share because they are horrible.

    Microsoft has never made a quality product.

  • memphis

    I too find this study funny and i also wonder where they got the thought that windows will outrun apple. i work in the industry and no one buys the windows phones the most we have sold them was when there was the catch of winning a 360 and everyone after that complained within the year and wants to know when they can upgrade..as for android it too is losing its mark the os is the same no matter what phone comes out and the apps aren’t all that great grant you the open source of it catches me thus why i have one but the quality in apps still stand firm with ios. I have one of each os and windows charges you for things that you get for free on both android and ios so thats one big down side, have you ever tried to retrieve your pictures from windows phone its one of the hardest tasks ever because you need zune which is a big fail..Theres a reason why the Iphone is still the king when it comes to phones they know what they do right and they stick to the formula even gets better when you jailbreak

  • SpeakingTruth

    I love it when people get so horned up over WP articles. I can’t tell if it’s jealousy or stupidity. These are estimates and the platform is young and hasn’t even seen multiple core hardware yet. Stop comparing it to iOS and Android. Its doing just fine slowly gaining market share and just hit 100k apps in its store which is an amazing feat for a young platform in these competitive times. Also please don’t group Windows Mobile with it, everytime you comment about their market share going down you look stupid. Do some research, they’re not the same whatsoever.

  • astudent

    Even as a Windows Phone fan, I am having a hard time digesting this. If this happens, it would certainly not be in North America….I can see developing countries adopting this.

  • Spikedlemon

    I’m hopeful on a Windows phone… I’m just waiting for Windows 8 and Win8 devices to start showing up.

  • Willy

    Maybe Windows 8 will give Microsoft a push in mobile OS market. But I still think it’s a wishful thinking.

  • Dylan

    I like how everyone speculates how much market share a company will have when the Windows 8 devices haven’t even been released, and we haven’t seen how the public will receive this product. It could be a total flop for all we know.

  • Raul Cevi

    This chart is so incorrect. iOS almost has as much share as android. Android is now under 50%. windows will have to beef up their app store if they are going to compete

  • garbagefile

    what’s a “windows phone?”