Marketing Research firm expects that windows mobile phone will surge as more Smartphones ship with Microsoft’s system than iPhones.
International data Corporation (IDC) has predicted that Microsofts’ Windows Phone mobile operating system(OS) will sell more smartphones compared to Apple’s iOS by 2016. However, this is just marginal.Meanwhile, Apple’s share is also expected to tumble down from 20% this year to 19% in 2016.
In 2012, Nokia, the Finland device manufacturer, partnered with Microsoft leading them to adopt Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 as the OS for all its smartphones. Previously there was an enormous speculation that it would adopt Google’s Android but that was not to be. Nokia strategy would seem to indicate that their flagship operating system Symbian was a flop.
For several years, Nokia had been the market leader before the emergence of Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android phones. Google normally partners with OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) who ship their devices running the Android Operating system. Amongst Google’s, partners include Samsung, LG, HTC. When Apple launched the iPhone, Nokia had roughly 50 percent of the market share. By then there weren’t any Android devices. By 2010, Nokia’s share had significantly dropped to 30 percent while Android was also at 30% and iPhone was at 16% according to research firm Gartner.
IDC also added that Nokia dominance in frontier markets will see them sell more Windows devices boosting the share of the operating systems for years to come. Nokia’s dominance in the frontier markets is a result of high sales of feature phones. Feature phones are marketed as a cheaper alternative to smartphones in emerging markets. Feature phones are devices that carry out the basic functions of a phone that is texting and calling. This can be contrasted to a smartphone that can perform more complicated tasks.
IDC also added that Google’s Android operating system popularity will peak this year though it is expected to remain the most popular throughout the five-year period. It has predicted a 61% share that will fall back to 53% by 2016. Android popularity is brought about by the partnerships Google has with the OEMs. These OEMs manufacture devices and are then allowed to customize the operating system to suit the varied needs of their products. A good example is Samsung’s version of Android stylized as “TouchWiz”.
However, this has largely been criticized by many users who have expressed concern in regards to the amount of bloatware that these customizations carry. Bloatware is unwanted software preloaded on a device that the user does not require. The problem that bloatware poses is that it consumes memory and uses ram slowing down the device. Users who decide to get rid of the software end up voiding the warranty of their devices. This is done through a process referred to as rooting.
Google runs a program in which it teams up with the OEMs again to manufacture phones that carry the pure Android version. The devices are called the Google Nexus. These devices are devoid of any bloatware and are therefore have a core following. Apple’s iPhone does not come with the bloatware.
IDC analyst, Kevin Restive intimated that the growth of smartphone will be driven by the growth of iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone.