IDC: Windows Phone will grow to 6.4% share by 2018, as BlackBerry crumbles to 0.3%

The last few years have not been kind to BlackBerry, as the pace of change and development in the industry has left it far behind its rivals. Even the company's latest operating system, BlackBerry 10, has not reversed its fortunes - although this is not entirely surprising, given that its own CEO, John Chen, admitted that BB10 is less than intuitive, and that potential customers may be put off by its steep learning curve. 

It seems that there may be even worse to come, as industry analysts IDC today released some very gloomy projections for the Canadian company. As Bloomberg reports, IDC believes that BlackBerry's worldwide smartphone shipments will plummet by more than 50% this year, and that it will end 2014 with just 0.8% of the global market, down from 1.9% last year. That slide may well be irreversible, as the research firm forecasts that BlackBerry's market share will fall further to just 0.3% by 2018. 

By contrast, Android is predicted to finish this year with a staggering 80.2% share, thanks to an impressive showing at both the upper and lower ends of the market. Premium devices like the Samsung Galaxy S5 are selling in huge numbers, while ever more capable flagships are being launched, such as LG's new G3. Handsets like the Moto E are also bringing smartphone user experiences to ever-lower price points, as manufacturers try to encourage feature phone users to upgrade to new Android devices. Even so, IDC predicts that Android's share will dip slightly to 77.6% in 2018. 

Apple's market share is also forecast to decrease slightly by then, from an estimated 14.8% this year to 13.7% in 2018. But Windows Phone is expected to grow considerably over the next few years. By 2018, Microsoft's mobile OS is projected to grow to 6.4% worldwide, up from an estimated 3.5% share at the end of 2014.

Microsoft has succeeded in signing up a large number of new hardware partners for Windows Phone this year, including Lenovo, LG, XOLO and ZTE back in February and, more recently, Blu and K-Touch. Much of Windows Phone's growth is expected towards the lower end of the market, thanks to more affordable handsets like Microsoft's own Lumia 630.

Source: IDC/Bloomberg | top image via BlackBerry; centre image via Motorola; bottom image via Nokia

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Judge in Iran summons 'Zionist' Mark Zuckerberg to appear in court [Update]

Next Story

CryEngine officially joins Unreal Engine 4 as a subscription-based service

57 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I see the people who all jumped on the "bash IDC" bandwagon when they originally predicted MS would introduce an Xbox One SKU without Kinect are noticeably absent with their FUD and nonsense about IDC.

I'd call them out but they'd go crying to their mod buddies.

Lord Method Man said,
I see the people who all jumped on the "bash IDC" bandwagon when they originally predicted MS would introduce an Xbox One SKU without Kinect are noticeably absent with their FUD and nonsense about IDC.

I'd call them out but they'd go crying to their mod buddies.


Many people online like to use sources like IDC only when it fits their agenda instead of either accepting their data always or never.

Some people will hold up IDC numbers unless its reflecting positively on a product they don't like.

neonspark said,
well, at least it is heading the right direction, unlike apple.

Don't forget... market share is simply the percentage of sales from all manufacturers over 3 months. And Apple is a single company in a sea of others.

You're right... Apple's market share has been going down. But their actual sales have been going up. That's the funny thing about percentages.

Apple may have only 15% of the smartphone market... but they still sold 43 million iPhones last quarter. And 51 million iPhones in the quarter before that.

Plus... the iPhone actually increased sales from those same quarters a year ago... even though their "share" has decreased. Again... that's how percentages work.

Market share... by itself... is a meaningless number unless you know the size of the entire market.

You say Apple's market share is going in the wrong direction... but you completely ignored the fact that Apple's sales are increasing. That's a rather important distinction... wouldn't you agree?

BTW... Apple has NEVER has a decent share of the smartphone market. I think the highest they ever had was in the low 20's a few years ago. They're around 15% now and this article says they'll have 13.7% in 2018.

In your words... Apple would be failing because their market share is dropping. But you don't account for the growth of the entire market.

Once again... percentages are meaningless without context.

Analysts typically get it very wrong, I see no reason that Windows Phone will get anywhere near 6% by 2018. I am sure that I can find other reports that said WP marketshare should be much higher by now.

derekaw said,
Analysts typically get it very wrong, I see no reason that Windows Phone will get anywhere near 6% by 2018. I am sure that I can find other reports that said WP marketshare should be much higher by now.

I think their reasoning is based on growth trends. WP has been on a steady incline for a while. It just isnt growing at much levels than the competition, so the percentages don't change quickly.

It isn't hard to find evidence of WP adoption growing at a good rate.

well analysts are always wrong. it could be that or 16%. they don't know. if they had, they would have predicted apple as low as 12% this year and they never did.

I believe a lot of people here forecasted that WP would overtake Apple by next year or 2016. Wonder how that prediction turned out :p I guess that funeral MS held for the iPhone in 2010 was nothing but a waste of money.

Definitely not and probably never in the US, but in other parts of the world, it is already true.

But yeah, funeral was a dumb idea.

Enron said,
Definitely not and probably never in the US, but in other parts of the world, it is already true.

If you want to use that analogy, then in some parts of the world WP has less market share than Blackberry.

Even with very liberal projection, in 4 years the share of WP will increase by mere 3%. No sane investor should invest in that kind of growth rate which is less than 1% per year considering MS throwing so much money in this black-hole. Whole fisher price metro UI has to blame as it is butt ugly to look at.

Auditor said,
Even with very liberal projection, in 4 years the share of WP will increase by mere 3%. No sane investor should invest in that kind of growth rate which is less than 1% per year considering MS throwing so much money in this black-hole. Whole fisher price metro UI has to blame as it is butt ugly to look at.


Its easy to say that when you have no interest in the product to begin with.

If MS really wants to get anywhere in the market, they have to accept slow growth. No one can just start a new phone OS from scratch and suddenly dethrone bigger players, it does not happen. As long as MS sees enough growth, they are probably more than willing to play the long game.

Auditor said,
Even with very liberal projection, in 4 years the share of WP will increase by mere 3%. No sane investor should invest in that kind of growth rate which is less than 1% per year considering MS throwing so much money in this black-hole. Whole fisher price metro UI has to blame as it is butt ugly to look at.

As much as I despise metro on a desktop I think it's the best UI I have ever used on a phone and also good, but not as good, on my surface rt.

Going from 3% to 6% in a few years isn't a 1% growth rate. If you can double in three years at a 1% growth rate, I want your bank account!

Enron said,
Going from 3% to 6% in a few years isn't a 1% growth rate. If you can double in three years at a 1% growth rate, I want your bank account!

You are right about the growth rate as it is approx 25% per year but I meant increase in market share which will be still less than 1% per year. If in 4 years WP is going to make 6% market share then its is very low specially in fast changing technological landscape. MS has already lost their smartphone and tablet war and they won't be making any significant progress beside having small market share. Their situation will be even worse than their situation in search market where beside their best effort to capitalize almost desktop monopoly they still far lag behind Google.

MS need to really innovate and bring something new to the table rather than laughing off when some new technology comes in the picture. Right now MS is a follower and their strategy has been to laugh off at things first and when they start getting hammered they come out with most ridiculous solution of their own which was really not solution to any problem to begin with. This is what was in Ballmer era, we still have to see what Nadella brings to the table.

Auditor said,

You are right about the growth rate as it is approx 25% per year but I meant increase in market share which will be still less than 1% per year. If in 4 years WP is going to make 6% market share then its is very low specially in fast changing technological landscape. MS has already lost their smartphone and tablet war and they won't be making any significant progress beside having small market share. Their situation will be even worse than their situation in search market where beside their best effort to capitalize almost desktop monopoly they still far lag behind Google.

MS need to really innovate and bring something new to the table rather than laughing off when some new technology comes in the picture. Right now MS is a follower and their strategy has been to laugh off at things first and when they start getting hammered they come out with most ridiculous solution of their own which was really not solution to any problem to begin with. This is what was in Ballmer era, we still have to see what Nadella brings to the table.

As you said, that was a lot of Ballmer's fault so yes let's hope Nutella does better. As far as 6%, it really depends on if that's 6% of a market that continues to grow each year or if it ends up peaking at some point.

So in a small number example, let's say today there are 100 smart phone users in the world and MS has a 3% share, that's 3 people. If 3 years from now there are 300 smart phone users and MS has a 6% share, that's 18 people. Going from 3 to 18 users would still be very successful growth, even if the competition still has the majority of users.

Of course, that doesn't solve the problem of not having priority app development and support, which is probably the biggest problem WP has today. In regions where market share is 10%+, it seems like app support is picking up.

I guess the main feature of smartphones are apps and even though the number of users for WP might increase in future but I think app developers are going to focus more on or at least give more priority to platform which has relatively highest number of user, as you mentioned. Considering if Android retains 80% market share and WP has 6% share, taking example of 300 users in market, 240 users will be on Android and 18 users on WP. It will be quite evident app developers will be putting much emphasis and resources to cater 240 users rather than 18 users. This is the problem which WP is facing today and this is the problem they will continue to face in future.

Whether MS 6% market share in future will be considered successful or not is very subjective so no arguing on that point. But MS really need to provide value propositions in their devices, which they are significantly lagging right now, and their hybrid approach in PC market is also creating identity crisis and not many people are really looking for hybrid approach anyway. MS need to shift their vision from this hybrid approach to more segregated approach.

This is what they did in 2000 when they plastered Desktop OS on their tablet version and in 2014 they are trying to plug tablet interface on Desktop OS. They need to create separate OS for each different device rather than one fit all approach. This inherent flaw in their approach is causing so much grief to MS and it will continue till they realize this obvious fact. Regardless, ugly Metro interface is not very helping MS either.

Androids continued growth and dominance is attributed to affordability and emerging markets where persons don't emphasize value on aesthetics and quality when purchasing a smartphone. In Jamaica, the local carrier here Digicel is selling an affordable Android smatphone called the DL600 for $62 US. Almost everybody seems to have one, they can utilize all the same apps that you get on iOS or a more expensive Android device such as the Galaxy S5: WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram just fine.

I am sure this is not unique to just Jamaica, but every region around the world. Yes, there are consumers who want a premium device, but that market has pretty much become a niche and even if they are going to choose a premium device, its going to be Android. Some of the key reasons, larger (phablet) screens, flexibility of the platform, Android is such a robust OS compared to iOS, the interoperability between apps and services makes it a unique aspect of using the platform.

I want Windows Phone to thrive, but it has pretty much become the Linux of smartphone operating systems, while Apple remains Apple and Android being the Windows of smartphone and Tablets operating systems. Apple though will be in a safe spot for the forseeable future if it can continue offering unique and attractive devices that consumers are willing to buy (especially there loyal no matter what userbase). It will likely dwindle into single digits as Androids continued reach widens in to markets where many are owning their first smartphone and connecting to the Internet for the first time.

Apple should also realize, just like how Windows 3.0 caught up with Mac OS in the early 90s, its a similar case for Android since 4.1, in fact, just like Windows 95 did, Android in fact has surpassed iOS in user experience. (User experience is not just design and flat icons by the way).

Mr. Dee said,
Androids continued growth and dominance is attributed to affordability and emerging markets where persons don't emphasize value on aesthetics and quality when purchasing a smartphone. In Jamaica, the local carrier here Digicel is selling an affordable Android smatphone called the DL600 for $62 US. Almost everybody seems to have one, they can utilize all the same apps that you get on iOS or a more expensive Android device such as the Galaxy S5: WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram just fine.

I am sure this is not unique to just Jamaica, but every region around the world. Yes, there are consumers who want a premium device, but that market has pretty much become a niche and even if they are going to choose a premium device, its going to be Android. Some of the key reasons, larger (phablet) screens, flexibility of the platform, Android is such a robust OS compared to iOS, the interoperability between apps and services makes it a unique aspect of using the platform.

I want Windows Phone to thrive, but it has pretty much become the Linux of smartphone operating systems, while Apple remains Apple and Android being the Windows of smartphone and Tablets operating systems. Apple though will be in a safe spot for the forseeable future if it can continue offering unique and attractive devices that consumers are willing to buy (especially there loyal no matter what userbase). It will likely dwindle into single digits as Androids continued reach widens in to markets where many are owning their first smartphone and connecting to the Internet for the first time.

Apple should also realize, just like how Windows 3.0 caught up with Mac OS in the early 90s, its a similar case for Android since 4.1, in fact, just like Windows 95 did, Android in fact has surpassed iOS in user experience. (User experience is not just design and flat icons by the way).

I'm sorry to burst your bubble but the vast majority of Android sales and growth comes from the very low end segment. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, and no one is disputing Androids growth and #1 spot but most people don't buy cheap android phone for the "user experience". They buy it for the price.

stevan said,

I'm sorry to burst your bubble but the vast majority of Android sales and growth comes from the very low end segment. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, and no one is disputing Androids growth and #1 spot but most people don't buy cheap android phone for the "user experience". They buy it for the price.


Although I have a 920 but I am well aware that the bulk of WP sales are low end devices as well.

stevan said,

I'm sorry to burst your bubble but the vast majority of Android sales and growth comes from the very low end segment. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, and no one is disputing Androids growth and #1 spot but most people don't buy cheap android phone for the "user experience". They buy it for the price.

I'm not a big Android fan but to put things in perspective, those Galaxy phones aren't low end and they sell tens of millions of those. It's just that the Android user base is so huge that the low end phones make up the majority of sales even though the "flagship" phones still sell very well.

Enron said,

I'm not a big Android fan but to put things in perspective, those Galaxy phones aren't low end and they sell tens of millions of those. It's just that the Android user base is so huge that the low end phones make up the majority of sales even though the "flagship" phones still sell very well.

Exactly... the Android market is huge.

230 million Android phones were sold last quarter. But flagships are only a small percentage of that.

We tend to talk about only a handful of flagship phones on tech blogs (Galaxy S5, LG G3, HTC One) and a few decent but cheaper Android phones (Moto G/E)

But the overwhelming majority of Android phones sold are models we've never even heard of... sold in China and India... for a VERY cheap price.

No one talks about those phones... even though they are what gives "Android" such incredible market share.

I would get a WP if they had flagships carrier independent. I want to see a Nexus type program from MS. Microsoft store online sell a flagship phone at 300 USD unlocked.

Windows phone needs to stop with the exclusive carrier BS no one makes money that way. If you want to sell you got to make it available to at least ATT and T-mobile as this will get you the biggest market share which includes all the smaller prepaid that don't run on crappy Sprint. Verizon is the favorite one now but ATT sells Lumia the third most out of all their phones that is way better than the other carriers.

anothercookie said,
Windows phone needs to stop with the exclusive carrier BS no one makes money that way. If you want to sell you got to make it available to at least ATT and T-mobile as this will get you the biggest market share which includes all the smaller prepaid that don't run on crappy Sprint. Verizon is the favorite one now but ATT sells Lumia the third most out of all their phones that is way better than the other carriers.

I agree.

Need a few high end along with the quality value low end, also want to see more android 'ports' of hardware since the buttons now allow it easily.

...it already did, in Russia, for exemple. I don't think it was never expected globally. Far fetched to expect Windows Phone to dethrone the iPhone in the US anytime soon.

Seketh said,
...it already did, in Russia, for exemple. I don't think it was never expected globally. Far fetched to expect Windows Phone to dethrone the iPhone in the US anytime soon.
Actually people on this very website predicted an overall take over of Windows Phones.

They are already bigger in 26 countries, and not just poor countries, but some European (West-European) countries, and others, like Belgium, are ready to follow before the end of the year.

JHBrown said,
Actually people on this very website predicted an overall take over of Windows Phones.

You mean the mob of regular people who dont really know much about anything but think they do or want to so they make crazy predictions that 99.99% of will never come true? =)

People speak from their heart often and I am sure many people wanted WP8 to take over. I love it so increased share is great news for me =).

Studio384 said,
They are already bigger in 26 countries, and not just poor countries, but some European (West-European) countries, and others, like Belgium, are ready to follow before the end of the year.

Maybe yes, maybe not.. . WP reached 17% in Italy but now is below 13%. What is needed is WOW device and the 930.. Is not it.

elenarie said,
Remember when people were saying that WP will overtake iOS in 2015-2016 or something? :laugh:

In some countries, WP is taking over IOS mainly because Android is overkilling all competitors (over 70%).

Brony said,

In some countries, WP is taking over IOS mainly because Android is overkilling all competitors (over 70%).

And in some countries WP is almost non existent.

Cosmocronos said,

Maybe yes, maybe not.. . WP reached 17% in Italy but now is below 13%. What is needed is WOW device and the 930.. Is not it.

Define WOW device because none of the competitors have a WOW device either. The 1020 is WOW, everything else is just average.

elenarie said,

Define WOW device because none of the competitors have a WOW device either. The 1020 is WOW, everything else is just average.


The 1020 was WOW when it came out and in its niche, and yes it is a niche device. A WOW device for the " general" audience was the 920. As for what is going on with the competition... this is my humble opinion: if my house is on fire, the fact that my neighbor one is on fire as well.... does not give me any relief. I have a 920, I am looking to see what the Goldfinger will bring on the table and, in the meantime I would not mind to replace my beaten 920 with something else but.... nothing compelling, again compared to my existing device, is available. A 1520, shrunk to 5", would do it but, and I reiterate that this is just my opinion, the 930 doesn' t at all.

elenarie said,
Remember when people were saying that WP will overtake iOS in 2015-2016 or something? :laugh:

vcfan already posted the link, but here it is again:

IDC predicts Android will have 43.8 percent of the market in 2015, followed by Windows Phone at 20.3 percent. Apple's iOS will trail at 16.9 percent.

http://www.techhive.com/articl...ake_iphone_ios_by_2015.html

Hilarious considering that WP actually lost marketshare recently going from 3.5 to 3.0% :laugh:

Studio384 said,
They are already bigger in 26 countries, and not just poor countries, but some European (West-European) countries, and others, like Belgium, are ready to follow before the end of the year.

Mostly due to Nokia, which basically sacrificed its entire phone business to promote Windows Phone. It didn't work out very well. And now that it's just Microsoft, things may slide backwards again.

I still think WP will have overtaken iOS by 2016. With around 20 OEMs now supporting the platform with the upcoming release of WP8.1 I expect growth to snowball. In another year we'll have WP9 which will further merge phone/tablet and make the MS ecosystem the most compelling on the market. I don't ever see people being able to have the iOS Marketplace on their non-touchscreen Macs. And Google are splitting Android and Chrome OS, so again separate stores. The unified approach of MS while it's a long journey and let the competition lead ahead with their app stores now, will play out well for them in the end.

simplezz said,

Mostly due to Nokia, which basically sacrificed its entire phone business to promote Windows Phone. It didn't work out very well. And now that it's just Microsoft, things may slide backwards again.

What entire phone business? They had none before WP.

elenarie said,

Symbian, which was badly outdated and dead, or MeeGo which wasn't really fully developed?

I'm sorry but that's simply not true. Symbian wasn't dead, it was the leading phone OS before Elop became CEO.

Was it losing marketshare? Yes, and quite a lot of it to Apple, but that's not a reason to completely destroy the platform the way Elop did with his memo. MeeGo was being developed as its successor and actually came about before Nokia's first Lumia, despite several delays imposed upon it by Elop. Had Nokia the courage of its conviction, it might have retained a large proportion of that Symbian marketshare. But unfortunately, the board signed off on Elop's ludicrous plan of abandoning everything they had and were still working on in favour of an unpopular, feature limited, and half-hearted attempt by Microsoft to stop haemorrhaging Windows Mobile marketshare to Google and Apple by what amounts to an ancient and recycled Windows CE with a Flash imitation overlay called Sliverlight.

History has now proven this to be the worst decision in Nokia's corporate life. Nokia has effectively given away its phone legacy in order bolster Windows Phone's and thus Microsoft's marketshare by a colossal 2%. We know who benefited most from that deal don't we..

stevan said,

And in some countries WP is almost non existent.

And in some countries iOS is almost non existent. And in some countries there are no elephants. Some countries arent next to the sea.

simplezz said,
...

Agree to disagree, considering that by 2010 Symbian + MeeGo were already losing marketshare to Android as well, not just to iOS.

Also, Silverlight a Flash imitation? :laugh:

elenarie said,

Agree to disagree, considering that by 2010 Symbian + MeeGo were already losing marketshare to Android as well, not just to iOS.

Also, Silverlight a Flash imitation? :laugh:


Symbian loosing market share? Yes. Non existent? Quite an hyperbole considering that the market share of the " burning ship" was by far greater of WP one.

I was about to say the same thing, nobody knows how fast WP will grow it could grow to 25% next year if a desired and wanted devices is launched from Microsoft (Surface Phone) for all carrier

chrisgarcia78 said,
I was about to say the same thing, nobody knows how fast WP will grow it could grow to 25% next year if a desired and wanted devices is launched from Microsoft (Surface Phone) for all carrier


I am positive it will happen. After surface pro 3 success next year