Analyst companies are pretty far from prescient, and their predictions more accurately reflect their sentiment regarding an OS now rather than what will actually happen.
If that is the case Canalys must be having some pretty good feelings about Windows Phone, as it is the only OS in their latest report they expect to grow market share over the next 4 years, primarily taking share from Apple and “other”.
According to the analyst company, worldwide 1.5 billion smart phones will ship in 2017, to account for 73% of all mobile phone shipments. In North America and Western Europe, virtually all phones shipped will be smart phones. Even in Greater China, smart phones will represent 95% of all mobile phone shipments in 2017.
‘The price of smart phones has fallen dramatically over the last few years and this has helped increase penetration,’ said Chris Jones, Canalys Principal Analyst. ‘But, so far, the problem with low-cost smart phones has been that the user experience has been compromised to hit lower price points. This is why Nokia has been so successful with its Asha portfolio. These handsets have been purpose-built and provide a great “pseudo-smart phone” experience. But the situation will change over the next few years. As component prices continue to fall, vendors will be able to deliver great experiences on smart phones at low price points, which means that in many markets, feature phones will become extinct.’
They expect growth in the smart phone market will continue to be driven by Android and by 2017 more than 1 billion android phones will ship, giving the platform a 67.1% market share. Over the same period, it is forecast that Apple’s shipments will continue to grow, but at a slower rate than the total smart phone market and hence its market share will fall from 19.5% in 2012 to 14.1% in 2017.
‘Apple’s growth will be curtailed by the fact that momentum in the smart phone market is coming from the low end, and Apple is absent from this segment,’ said Jessica Kwee, Canalys Analyst. ‘Android’s continued dominance is due to the scalability of the platform.’
In contrast to Apple, Microsoft’s market share is forecast to grow from 2.4% to 12.7% over the same period.