Microsofts’ Windows Phone mobile operating system will ship on more smartphones than Apple’s iOS by 2016, according to a new report from IDC, but only just.
Windows Phone holds an estimated 5% share of the smartphone market, IDC found. But the number of devices shipped with the operating systems will grow by 46% each year until 2016, when it will hold 19.2% of the smartphone market.
Meanwhile, Apple’s share will fall from an estimated 20% this year 19% in 2016.
Last year, Finnish mobile device maker Nokia adopted Windows Phone for all its smartphones. IDC says that Nokia’s strenght in emerging markets will boost the operating systems’ global market share in the coming years.
IDC also predicted that Google’s mobile operating system Android will peak this year, although it will remain the most popular throughout the five year period. It predicted a 61% share for Android this year, which will fall back to 53% by 2016.
Overall, IDC estimates that 686 million smartphones will ship this year, up 39% from last year. Shipments will grow by 12.6% annually until 2016.
"Smartphone growth will increasingly be driven by a triumvirate of smartphone operating systems, namely Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7," said IDC analyst Kevin Restivo.