prediction

As we’re starting to return to full steam here at Windows Phone Central from the holiday season, we need to evidently begin reporting on the stupid again (thankfully it's not more Android-Nokia rumors). This time Forbes online contributor Tristan Louis is “predicting” that Nokia will exit the hardware business this year and sell off their assets to Microsoft and/or Huawei.

No evidence is provided, mind you. Not a single “unnamed source” or even the tried and tired “people familiar with the matter” go-to device for reporting on irresolute rumors.  And if you’re scratching your head at who Tristan Louis is or why you should care about what he writes, you’re not alone as we’ve never heard of him either (he’s evidently an “entrepreneur”, which we think means something along the lines as “guy with money”).

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Morgan Stanley, a global financial services firm, has predicted that Nokia will be shipping 37 million Windows Phones in 2012. Not only that, but they expect the number to almost double in 2013 to 64 million. This is depending on how aggressive Microsoft, Nokia and AT&T market the Lumia 900. If Europe is anything to go by, we're sure Nokia will be pushing extremely hard with the software giant and U.S. carrier close behind. With a rumoured $200 million budget available between them, we should look forward to some interesting promotions and events being set up.

As Steve Ballmer mentioned at CES, they've got a long way to go, but the road is looking positive should a strong push be effective.

Source: AllThingsD

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We love analysts and predictions, especially when they paint Windows Phone 7 in particularly good light, and Gartner (a leading worldwide technology research and advisory company) has done just that with their latest prediction.

Having a gander at the chart above, we can see the accumulative market total topping 1 billion by 2015 and Microsoft has been predicted to achieve 19.5% market share (compared to the 4.2 they currently hold) - Not bad for a platform that is continuously said to be "failing". Gartner revised its forecast of market share for WP7 taking into account the Nokia partnership, which is said to push the platform into mid-tier of its portfolio by the end of next year.

On a general note, "by 2015, 67 percent of all open OS devices will have an average selling price of $300 or below, proving that smartphones have been finally truly democratized," said Roberta Cozza, principal analyst at Gartner. We have already covered other predictions that WP7 will overtake RIM from Ovum, so what Gartner has posted seems in-line.

What do you think of these predictions, and what is forecasted for WP7?

Source: Gartner, via: WMPU

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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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Wish we could see these numbers ourselves, but tracking down Morgan Stanley reports without access is a bit tricky. But to quote from Business Insider, whom we think we can trust on such an issue, the global financial service predicted in a report this morning that Microsoft could sell upwards of 4 million devices with Windows Phone 7 and another 1.5 million of Windows Mobile 6.5.x.

Is that good? Is that bad? Hard to say really as Microsoft is launching their new OS "globally", so in theory they could push a lot more. On the other hand, due to supply constraints and "growing" the v1.0 OS, things might take awhile to take off (Android had a nice 9 month incubation phase too). By way of comparison, Apple is pushing nearly double that of the iPhone every quarter right now. However, Apple didn't sell that many iPhones till their sixth quarter--so we kind of like those numbers, we think.

In related news, they predict that since the smartphone market is still growing, Microsoft (and to a lesser extent, HP Palm) still have time to make a dent in the increasingly crowded smartphone business. But eventually, the market will hit a wall and the herd will have to be culled (cough, HP Palm, cough).

Source: Business Insider, Morgan Stanley

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Updatesee this post for article correction

One thing about sales predictions, especially in this volatile market with heavy competition, is that they can come back to haunt you.

So in 19 months, as we near the end of 2011, Microsoft have better have sold something upwards of 30 million Windows Phone 7 devices. Otherwise, we'll never hear the end of it, especially from a certain Cupertino place. That 30 million number comes from the ReMix event in France during a presentation by IDC, a large technology forecasting company. (These are the same ReMix events going on around the world and where all this WP7 info is coming from as of late).

To put this into perspective, the iPhone has only sold 51+ million devices total in 3 years.

Now in fairness, currently about 14% of all cell users are smartphone owners and we keep expecting that number to explode in the next few years. Because smartphone owners are such a tiny minority today, we always laugh off these ideas that "the mobile OS war" is already over.

Ninja please, this is still just the beginning and it's anyone's game, even if the competition has a huge leg up. If we recall, Palm too once dominated this industry. Microsoft will also have the advantage of launching on all four US carriers at once, multiple device OEMs and of course launch world-wide. Assuming WP7 is a "hit", they could hit that number.

Still, we would have rather this "30 million" thing stay behind doors as this sort of thing pushes more interesting news out of the way, in place of juvenile OS fanboyism. And we're sure everyone will forget it was IDC and not Microsoft who made this claim.

[via MobileTechWorld]

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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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Back a few months ago, a small startup company called Traveling Wave demoed a new method for text entry: Voicepredict (see video here)

The technology combined voice recognition with typing to allow very fast and accurate typing on Windows Mobile devices. Some wonder why would you use both speech and text and the reason is sort of obvious: while speech recognition/data entry sounds very convenient, the truth is with background nose and current algorithms, the accuracy of such technology is not as high as users demand. When you "help" the speech recognition part with minimal text entry (usually the first letter), you improve the accuracy up to nearly 100%. In fact, it seems faster than HTC's soft keyboard/text prediction.

We've actually been beta testing this program for a few months already and have high hopes for it. Like all new data entry methods (think Swype), it's awkward at first as you have to think about your next move. But as you use it more and more, you'll see the increase in speed for writing emails, text messages, Facebook or Twitter entries makes up for it. The program has an easy tutorial to teach you the basics and you'll be up and running within minutes.

Overall we're quite impressed with this technology and really hope Traveling Wave has plans to bring this to Windows Phone 7. You can download it via Windows Marketplace (first 100 downloads are free, not sure about the price afterwards) right here.

Sound off in comments on your experience with it: future of typing or gimmick?

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