IDC

Windows Phone continues its ascent in the global smartphone race, at least according to shipment numbers released by IDC. While the increase in global market share continues for Microsoft’s mobile OS, perhaps the more interesting story is in individual markets.

IDC’s new numbers show that Windows Phone “posted the largest increase for both the quarter (46.7%) and the year (90.9%)” when compared to iOS and Android. That’s down from Q3, where shipments were pegged at 156%, but is line with year-end performance. The take away is that Microsoft has nearly doubled their growth.

Likewise, Nokia’s dominance of the Windows Phone market is confirmed again at that 90% number, which has had multiple corroborations at this point.

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As the India smartphone market overall grew by 229% year over year (YoY) in the third quarter of 2013, Nokia's Lumia range of devices continued to show a growth trajectory and garnered close to 5% market share. In the mobile phone market in India, Nokia is on the second spot, close on the heels of market leader – Samsung. This latest data coincides with the continued strong growth in India for Windows Phone.

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The last few months have been pretty good for the Windows Phone ecosystem. There have been some great devices announced by Nokia and other OEMs, more and more popular apps coming to the Windows Phone Store, and more than one research agency testifying the growth.

A couple of days back, we posted about the latest IDC report which pegged the year-over-year growth of Windows Phone for the third quarter of 2013 to 156%.

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Windows Phone moved 9.3 million handsets in the third quarter of 2013, according to a report from the IDC. That’s an increase of 156% for the same period year-over-year. Nokia was responsbile for 93.2% of those shipped. 

The current status of Windows Phone’s market share is always interesting. We’ve never really received solid numbers from Microsoft, instead we rely on third-party data from market researchers and analysts. We’ve seen some recent data from comScore, Kantar, and Strategy Analytics. Now we’re getting some new data from IDC. The big takeaway? Windows Phone saw shipments grow 156% year-over-year for the third quarter. Details below.

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According to the IDC, Microsoft is still doing well in one of the largest and most important emerging markets, India. Latest figures have Windows Phone at a 5.4% market share, giving Microsoft’s mobile OS a ranking of second most popular OS in that country, ahead of the iPhone and BlackBerry.

This will be the third-consecutive quarter that Windows Phone has held that position in India, meaning this is not a variance.

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The latest predictions from the analysts at IDC see steady growth for Windows Phone, picking up 10% of the global market share by 2017

Windows Phone is on the up, even if not everyone agrees. Microsoft and Nokia have been working hard to build market share in multiple markets, including the all-important US. Recent data collected by Kantar Worldpanel claims increasing sales for Windows Phone, especially in emerging markets like Mexico. But the bigger picture of market share is a different story since numbers are relative.

IDC has released its predictions for how it sees the smartphone market to be shaped in 2017, putting Windows Phone comfortably in third and closing the gap on Apple's iOS.

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IDC has released data showing an increase in smartphone shipments in Q2 2013 in Vietnam. 32.7 percent of total mobile phone shipments were smartphones, up from just 14.7 percent in Q2 2012. The good news here for Windows Phone is not only are we looking at a larger market for OEMs to take advantage of, but the platform has increased its share of the smartphone market in the region by a fair amount.

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Depending on who you ask, Windows Phone claims anywhere from 3 to 6% of the global smartphone market. Of course it can vary from region to region. We also know that devices like the Nokia Lumia 520 are helping fuel growth in emerging markets. Which is why it’s not too surprising to find out that Windows Phone is now the number two most popular operating system in Latin America.

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Some good news today for Windows Phone as the latest numbers, based on device shipments from earlier this year, have revealed a steady increase for the third place operating system.

According to the IDC’s latest numbers, Windows Phone has seen a surge of 77% year over year for device shipments (8.7M in 2013 versus 4.9M for 2012). With those numbers, Windows Phone has increased from 3.1% market share to a modest 3.7%. While iOS and Android still dominate with 13.2% and 79.3% market share respectively, Windows Phone maintains the largest year over year increase.

This is the second report from the IDC this year that has shown strong YoY growth for Windows Phone and the second report from the IDC to claim its third place ranking, globally. However, while that 77% year over year change is impressive, it is down from the 150% year over year growth measuring back in February. Some of that though can probably be attributed to a downswing in general sales of technology as the global economy continues to stagnate.

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There’s a report going around the web from the IDC about PC shipments from the first quarter of 2013. The overall outlook is rather gloomy – PC shipments were down 13.9% from the same period a year ago. A bit worse than the forecast of a negative 7.7% decline. What’s this mean for Windows 8 and the PC market going forward?

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The International Data Corporation (IDC) has posted its Q4 2012 global results of smartphone trends and it nicely reflects yesterday’s report from Gartner. The data is both a mix of good news and bad news for Windows Phone, showing that year-over-year (YoY) growth has increased by 150% going from 1.5% market share to 2.6% in late 2012. That’s certainly a positive sign but in the context of the rest of the smartphone race, it’s still a drop in the bucket.

Android and iOS accounted for a massive 91.1% of all smartphone sales, which is quite astonishing. BlackBerry, while still ahead of Windows Phone (3.2% versus 2.6% for Q4) took a drastic drop from last year when it had a more comfortable 8.1% market share.  That’s a -43% fall for the Waterloo company, which of course can be ascribed to holding on to BlackBerry 7 for so long.

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In a new study just released tonight, Appcelerator and IDC surveyed 3,632 'Appcelerator Titanium' developers from May 11-18, 2012 on their plans for app development now and in the future. Though not a survey of consumer demand the data is but one piece of the bigger picture of how Windows Phone (and Android, iOS, BlackBerry and webOS) is fairing amongst developers. For that reason, it should be considered as a metric but not necessarily the only one to measure interest or future success.

The news is not very good for Windows Phone but there is some light at the end of the tunnel for the future iterations of the OS, specifically the ‘Apollo’ update coming later this year.  That's interesting as Windows Phone has been coasting on ‘hope’ for nearly two years now and developers have not yet completely abandoned it, seeing weakness in Android.

For a complete run down, head past the break…

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Market research firm IDC has released Q1 2012 data that shows fairly large growth for both Android and iOS, while Symbian and BlackBerry continue to fall into gloomy depths. Android stole the show with a Year-on-Year change in terms of shipping volume of 145%, with iOS in tow at 88%. RIM and Symbian, on the other hand, were hitting -29.7% and -60.6% respectively. Some fairly steep recordings.

But what about Windows Phone? It's sat on a respectable 26.9% increase, which is the point to take away here. While the marketshare has dipped slightly from 2.8 to 2.2 (includes Windows Mobile), the shipping volumes for the platform have seen a boost. We can see clearly the effect Nokia is having on Windows Phone.

"Windows Phone has yet to make significant inroads in the worldwide smartphone market, but 2012 should be considered a ramp-up year for Nokia and Microsoft to boost volumes. Until Nokia speeds the cadence of its smartphone releases or more vendors launch their own Windows Phone-powered smartphones, IDC anticipates slow growth for the operating system."

This is exactly what Chris highlighted in his report on Gartner's Q1 2012 data. Without repeating ourselves, check out the chart below for more details on how the platforms have progressed between Q1 2011 and 2012.

It's looking positive for Windows Phone, which is the main thing to look at. Microsoft and Nokia are doing well with increasing the reach of the brand itself. We'll have to see in Q2 how the continued push from AT&T, recent launches of the Lumia 900 in and across Europe, as well as the upcoming release in Australia, affects marketshare and shipping numbers in future reports.

Source: IDC, via: BGR

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Some mixed news coming out today from a survey of 2, 173 developers taken in late January by IDC and app tools maker Appcelerator. Developer interest in making apps for Windows Phone is at 37% which is just a 1% less than the previous report back in November--in other words, statistically it's the same.

That's good and bad. The good news is that RIM is continuing to plunge from 20% to less than 16% leaving Windows Phone to be the clear "number three" in the mobile OS space (when factoring out tablets). The bad news is even with the Lumia 800, developers are still not jumping on the Windows Phone bandwagon as expected (or needed). Despite this, Appcelerator says "interest remains high" for the freshman OS even in the face of unimpressive device sales to date.

The survey was conducted just days after the AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 was announced, so developer interest in that device had barely had anytime to register for this survey (not to mention it has not gone on sale yet). Only 18% of those surveyed were interested in developing for the Lumia devices, meaning Nokia still has some word to do to sway devs that Windows Phone is worth it.

Interest in Android, however, did slip from previous quarters which lead the researchers to conclude that there's a “small but steady erosion” in developing for that platform, perhaps a result of fragmentation and issues with getting devices on par with ICS. Meanwhile, iOS is holding steady from previous quarters.

In the end, this latest survey reinforces what we already know: iOS is number one and steady, Android is a strong number two but slowly eroding and Windows Phone is in a steady-state with under 40% of developer interest. What is needed is a game-changer and at this stage, Windows Phone 7 may not be it. But to quote Yoda, "there is another"...it's Windows Phone 8.

Source: Appcelerator; via: GigaOm, ZDNet, Reuters

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Looks like all is not doom and gloom with Windows Phone 7. While there have been plenty of surveys noting that the OS is not catching on as fast, Microsoft has always taken the position that this is a marathon, not a race and that eventually the OS will break through.

According to a new Nielsen survey, Microsoft's mobile OS's (Windows Phone 7, Windows Mobile) command 10% of the market share. This is actually quite a jump, if accurate, from the oft-cited 6% number that we've seen in other surveys. The survey looks at the last three months of data and has Android at 29% and Apple, RIM tied at 27%. Unfortunately we don't know the exact breakdown between Mobile/Phone 7, but we shudder to think that WM has made a comeback of late and that WP7 is more than 2%, as the NPD survey shows.

Getting back to Windows, Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD, had nothing but positive things to say. According to Sci-Tech Today, he praised Windows Phone 7's differentiation and product integration but suggested they still need to "...close the feature gap, offer more exclusive capabilities, work with partners to deliver hardware with better differentiation, and leverage its extensive experience in driving developer communities to increase its app offerings." Meanwhile, Al Hilwa, director of applications development software at IDC lauded Microsoft's Marketplace both in terms of app buildup and quality of apps, suggesting it is one of the most successful launches to date. He also mentioned how we won't see the full power of Microsoft till the next version of Windows, which seeks full integration across product lines:

Most importantly, the full weight of the ecosystem will probably not come to bear on this until Windows PCs themselves are brought into alignment with this when Windows for ARM ships, and some viable Microsoft-based tablets are in the market.

That we agree with too, even if it is nearly 2 years out. Regardless, it's nice to see both that 10% number and various industry analysts bullish on Windows Phone 7 and Microsoft's plans.

Source: Nielsen, NPD, IDC; via Sci-Tech Today

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We have to admit we get a little cynical with these 'analyst' stories only because we often get the feeling that these experts are often behind the curve or they make somewhat obvious, vague predictions about mobile tech.

In this case, IDC, who should be quite familiar to mobile phone users by now, has gone on to state that they think Microsoft has a chance with Windows Phone 7 in 2011, but only if they do what they basically said they're going to do. Al Hilwa, an analyst with IDC, wrote in a Dec. 29 publication:

CDMA phones are expected to arrive in early 2011, ensuring that WP7 devices are available on all four U.S. carriers, thus helping increase device shipments...To bring the platform rapidly to a level of parity with other major mobile platforms, Microsoft will need to deliver several key features in the first quarter of 2011.

Seems sort of obvious but okay, lets go on. What are those features? According to eWeek they are "multitasking support, copy-and-paste and increased hardware support for augmented reality applications such as business card scanning". Since we know Microsoft is doing all the requested from Al Hilwa, we guess this is a shoe in, right? CDMA devices will be announced at CES, rollout in February and we can see "several" OS updates in 2011, many bringing the required-for-success features Hilwa expects.

Finally, Hilwa concludes with

IDC believes that it will have a seat at the small table of the top two or three mobile application platform players in the next five years.

Seems to be a safe prediction. We don't see such claims for WebOS, Bada or MeeGo, do we? Although perhaps we could say RIM is knocked out of that top-three club, but even that is becoming more and more obvious with every labored BlackBerry release these days.

Source: IDC (12/29/10); via eWeek

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IDC, who you may remember from the Microsoft-used-the-wrong-slide media fiasco earlier this year, has gone ahead and released their forecast for smartphone adoption over the next five years in their Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report.

Personally, we can't even imagine what a smartphone will look like in 2014, nor what the market landscape, but assuming the current state of things, lets see what IDC says:

  • For the first half of 2010, vendors shipped a total of 119.4 million units or 55.5% more than the 76.8 million units shipped during the first half of 2009
  • "Android is the wild card, deserving close observation for the rest of this year and the years to come,"
  • IDC now expects the 2010 overall mobile phone market to grow 14.1%, or 1.5% higher than its previous forecast. Last year, the market declined 2.8%, the first such occurrence in Mobile Phone Tracker history
  • Despite uncertainty about the economy, the smartphone market is expected to increase 24.5% in 2011. However, smartphone growth will decline progressively over the course of IDC's five-year forecast period. In 2014, for example, the market is expected to rise by just 13.6%
  • No one smartphone OS will dominate mobile phones in the way that Microsoft has with Windows on the personal computer. "IDC believes the market will comfortably support up to five OS players over the next five years,"

Finally, the big news for Microsoft it they are expected to regain market share bumping from a low of 6.8% to 9.8% by 2014. While that's only a 3% change in overall market share, due to the increasingly huge numbers of smartphones we are talking about, it translates into a 43% change in volume, which is pretty significant (assuming its accuracy). At that point, Microsoft would only trail Android as far as speed of growth.

While no one predicts Microsoft to dominate the mobile OS field anytime soon, it's not too hard to imagine them being a major player by 2014, if they play their cards right.

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Well looks like Microsoft made a bit of mistake when citing IDC in that recent ReMix event.

If you recall, IDC reportedly suggested that Microsoft could sell 30 million Windows Phone 7 devices, worldwide, by the end of 2011.  That number quickly burned around the web with lots of "yeah right!" tweets and the like.

Well, here's the real story: it was actually 32 million.

But that's all Windows Mobile devices (WM6.5.x) and not Windows Phone 7, which it has made no analysis nor predictions about. In fact, IDC said it won't be able to do any forecasting on Windows Phone 7 till it actually ships and they can do their own research by talking to vendors and operators.  Makes sense.

So now your task is clear: undo this damage and spread the word--Tweet and reTweet!

And IDC--yeah, sorry that you had to go through all of that.

[via PC World and IDC, p.c.]

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