Android “will peak this year” as Windows Phone challenges Apple, IDC says

As forecasts go, this is a pretty big one: the International Data Corporation (IDC) has predicted that Windows Phone will overtake iOS by 2016 and that Android will have hit its peak by the end of this year.

This won’t be great news for Google, but the report notes that Android will still be far ahead of the opposition, holding 52.9% of the market share by 2016.

The figures from IDC analysts revealed the 2012 market share and compare it with their predicted 2016 share.

According to IDC, by 2016 Microsoft will take 19.2% of the smartphone market, compared with Apple’s 19.0%. This is a minimal difference on the face of it, but given the 2012 figures (5.2% and 20.5%) it will represent a monumental increase for Windows Phone should the prediction pay off.

The figures come amidst a slightly gloomy overall prediction for the smartphone market, with IDC noting the link between the projected 10% decline in feature phone shipments and smartphone usage.

“Many owners of feature phones are holding on to their phones in light of uncertain job and economic prospects,” the report notes, adding: “Despite the decline in shipments, feature phones will still comprise 61.6% of the total mobile phone market this year”.

Elsewhere RIM is predicted to carry on with IDC stating that “there will continue to be a market for Blackberry OS-powered devices”, citing a continued demand in emerging markets for those who need affordable messaging systems.

Ramon Llamas, IDC senior research analyst, said that the competition between operating systems underpinned the market.

“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,” he added.

Who are the winners and losers in this report then? How much has the struggle of Symbian contributed to a potential narrowing of OS competition?

 

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6tricky9
14 Jun 2012, 12:46 p.m.

I think that Intel's move into the mobile arena will be interesting. With Tizen (the Intel/Samsung GNU/Linux OS) in the pipeline we'll have x86 mobile devices capable of running desktop apps. Tizen's HTML5/Javascript/CSS3 layer is moving devices in the direction of "The Web as the Platform. Mozilla's "Boot to Gecko" offering is in the same mould. I believe that these developments will be a challenge to Google's Android.

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