Gartner (Also) Predicts that Windows Phone will Pass iPhone

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Gartner is predicting that Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform will surpass Apple’s iPhone by 2015, roughly matching similar predictions published by IDC in March. Gartner said that Microsoft’s alliance with Nokia to provide Windows Phone 7 (and its successors) to Nokia for its smartphones will result in Windows Phone 7 becoming the second largest smartphone OS behind Android, and ahead of iPhone.

The research firm said that Apple’s share of the smartphone market with the iPhone will peak in 2011, with 19.4% market share, and decline to 17.2% by 2015, even while shipments of iPhones increase from 62.6 million units to 189.9 million units during the same time period.

“This reflects Gartner’s underlying assumption that Apple will be interested in maintaining margins rather than pursuing market share by changing its pricing strategy,” Gartner said in the report published Thursday. “This will continue to limit adoption in emerging regions.”

As for Android, Gartner believes that Google’s OS will continue its explosive growth through 2011 and into 2012, when it will capture some 49.2% of the market. Android unit growth will continue through 2015, but the platform’s share will decrease slightly to 48.8% in 2015. This growth will be pushed, in part, by adoption of the OS into ever-cheaper low-end devices, according to the company.

“As vendors delivering Android-based devices continue to fight for market share, price will decrease to further benefit consumers”, Roberta Cozza, principal analyst at Gartner, said in a statement. “Android’s position at the high end of the market will remain strong, but its greatest volume opportunity in the longer term will be in the mid- to low-cost smartphones, above all in emerging markets.”

Finding new life in Nokia’s hardware, Gartner believes Windows Phone 7 will grow to capture 5.6% of the market in 2011, to 10.8% in 2012, and 19.5% in 2015, and the company made no bones about the fact that this prediction is based, “solely by virtue of Microsoft’s alliance with Nokia.”

The two companies announced earlier this year that Nokia would be abandoning its own Symbian OS in favor of Windows Phone 7. Gartner threw another dig at Microsoft by adding, “Although [Microsoft’s projected growth] is an honorable performance it is considerably less than what Symbian had achieved in the past, underlying the upward battle that Nokia has to face.”

Research In Motion (RIM) and its BlackBerry device will continue its slide, declining from 13.4 market share in 2011 to 11.1% in 2015, but the company will also see its overall unit shipments grow from 62..6 million units in 2011 to 122.9 million units in 2015.

In March, IDC issued similar projections, placing Android as the #1 smartphone OS in 2015 with 45.4% of the market, Windows Phone 7 (or its successor) at #2 with 20.9%, and Apple’s iPhone/iOS as #3 with 15.3%. RIM’s BlackBerry was also #4 in IDC’s projections, with 13.7% market share.

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What a gaff, makes you laugh. And I did.


Tying two sinking ships together does not give them the ability to float.


What is interesting about this is most of the Symbian phones being sold are concerned non-smart phones.  So Windows 7 will be replacing those phones. 

So Windows 7 may capture more general market share than Apple and RIM.  I suspect that the amount of Windows 7 phones that can run apps will be smaller than RIMs percentage.

There are still a lot of people who want a cell phone that has an address book, can pick up voice mail, and do quick pictures.  They have no interest in anything else.

John Martellaro

As Horace Dediu points out, this kind of data is not amendable to extrapolation because market forces and technology change the underlying assumptions too often.


This is all predicated upon the Systematic Crucial Restricting Electronic Welfare system (SCREW for short), I think it might work.

This means that Apple will continue to make the profits, the others will be sweat hogs. Like, isn’t it to the far, far North of Ninety, the profit of Apple.

This means that Google and Microsoft will continue to subsidise OS’s that they make little if anything out of by their supporting slog. Mighty fine of them. Reminds me of church. Everything built on faith and hope.

This means RIM, SS, HP, Moto et al. will be scrambling for the skimpy profits South of 20%, or far, far South of twenty.

Or, mightn’t Apple, with its own stores from which to sell or even from phone companies, choose to drop prices as it has done with Se?or iPad and Grandpa iPod, matching or surpassing the rabble whilst scooping up the same profits, but which would demand a lot more effort from the smirky stated scenario of these two speculators?

We don’t read modern history from books anymore. Everything is happening so fast we watch it unfold before our very eyes. The predictable future is now only months, not years away. The rest is guess, I would guess.

Tying two sinking ships together does not give them the ability to float.

Hysterical, Flufflesworth. grin

other side

This means that Google and Microsoft will continue to subsidise OS?s that they make little if anything out of by their supporting slog.

Look at it this way: Google and MS can afford to give their OS’s away.  Apple can’t.

While the scope of Gartner’s predictions is a pipe dream, Apple WILL have challenges in competing with free.

Lee Dronick

Apple WILL have challenges in competing with free.

Nothing is free, there is a piper in there somewhere.


Window 7 Mobile has two rivals for its natural niche (the Enterprise): Blackberry and HP/Palm.  I don’t see why Blackberry should not continue to dominate that niche (unless the iPhone manages to invade it, riding in on the iPad’s coat-tails and/or if HP births a true killer product for its Enterprise partners). 

Apple WILL have challenges in competing with free.

Nothing is free, there is a piper in there somewhere.

Here’s one of Android’s pipers:  Android must always be last in the Enterprise, because of Android?s & Google?s intrinsic incompatibilities with the needs of the Enterprise.

HD Boy

I think these projections must be based on a critical error. I do believe Windows Phone 7 could become the largest phone OS by partnering with Nokia. However, I do NOT think it can become the largest SMARTphone OS.

However, to do this, Microsoft will have to prove that sloppy programming, bad interfaces and the era of malware and spyware insecurities will be left behind. This is still very much in doubt.

Only time will tell if Microsoft proves this.


mhikl said:This means that Google and Microsoft will continue to subsidise OS?s that they make little if anything out of by their supporting slog.
Look at it this way: Google and MS can afford to give their OS?s away.? Apple can?t.

Can they really afford in the longer term to just give away all that hard work ?

And Goofle still has Oracle chasing it for patent infringements regarding Java….....


Tying two sinking ships together does not give them the ability to float.

Nokia is not a sinking ship. It may not be doing well in United States but elsewhere It still holds the edge. Rise of India, China and other emerging markets has made US less important.


Nokia is not a sinking ship.

It depends on how you define ‘sinking’...

In terms of unit sales, no.

In terms of profit margin, yes.  Their stock has been steadily losing value for quite some time now, and I doubt taking Monoposoft’s bribe, er, blood money, er, subsidy money will make much difference in that.


Only time will tell whether Gartner’s prediction comes true or not but they at least had the cajones to make a prediction. And make no mistake about it, their analysts are very intelligent people (I happen to know one because I formerly worked with this person and learned that Gartner’s hiring process for analysts is very rigorous).


Far be it from me to suggest that Gartner need to sort their socks, but is this the same Gartner that predicted Windows Phone 7 would flounder, garnering no more than a 3.9% market share by 2014? Methinks, ‘yea’.

Admittedly, they are now going to argue that partnership with Nokia changes things a bit, as in earth-shatteringly so. Given that Nokia continue to haemorrhage market share in the smartphone sector, despite their relative popularity in Europe, Asia and Africa in the commodity phone sector (read ‘minimally competitive markets’ in low-income country settings), to argue that a tie-up between a company that will enjoy a (what was Gartner’s word? Ah yes…) ‘dismal’ market share (Microsoft) and one whose market share has been likened to a ‘burning platform’ (Nokia), will result in overtaking RIM and Apple in four years is, at best, a faith-based argument.

This not to say that it cannot happen, but merely to ask, on what basis do they now make this prediction?

I for one, believe MS/Nokia have a fighting chance.

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