Can Windows Phone 7 claim second place in smartphone race?

Posted by Trent Nouveau

Sure, the future may be a little brighter for Windows Phone 7 now that Nokia is on board with the platform, but can Redmond’s mobile OS claim second place in the fast-paced smartphone race?

Well, senior IDC analyst Ramon Llamas believes WP7 is destined to leave Apple’s iOS and RIM’s BlackBerry trailing in the dust by 2015.

"Up until the launch of Windows Phone 7 last year, Microsoft has steadily lost market share while other operating systems have brought forth new and appealing experiences," explained Llamas.

Can Windows Phone 7 claim second place in smartphone race?"The new alliance brings together Nokia's hardware capabilities and Windows Phone's differentiated platform. We expect the first devices to launch in 2012. By 2015, IDC expects Windows Phone to be number 2 operating system worldwide behind Android."

Llamas also noted that Android is "poised" to take over as the leading smartphone operating system in 2011.

"For the vendors who made Android the cornerstone of their smartphone strategies, 2010 was the coming-out party.

"This year will see a coronation party as these same vendors broaden and deepen their portfolios to reach more customers, particularly first-time smartphone users," he added.

Yes, Llamas and his projections certainly seem spot on for Android as the wildly popular OS continues its unstoppable march forward.

But I’m definitely skeptical about his belief that Windows Phone 7 will somehow manage to catapult itself way past Apple’s iPhone.

Although unlikely, I suppose it could happen if Microsoft and Nokia managed to design a device that was light years ahead of Apple’s iPhone - on both a software and hardware level.

But what are the chances of that realistically happening - even by 2015?

Operating System

2011 Market Share

2015 Market Share

2011-2015 CAGR

Android

39.5%

45.4%

23.8%


 

BlackBerry

14.9%

13.7%

17.1%


 

iOS

15.7%

15.3%

18.8%


 

Symbian

20.9%

0.2%

-65.0%


 

Windows Phone 7/Windows Mobile

5.5%

20.9%

67.1%


 

Others

3.5%

4.6%

28.0%


 

Total

100.0%

100.0%

19.6%