The IDC has updated their forecast for the full year of 2015, stretching to 2019.
The change notes a slowing of the smartphone market, noting that for the first time it will grow less than 10% Year on Year, down from 27% in 2014
For this year however Windows phones are expected to see a decline rather than growth, with only 31.3 million handsets expected to be shipped this year.
Ramon Llamas, an analyst at IDC blamed the decline on a lack of focus by Microsoft on improving their smartphone operating system, with its main focus rather being on PCs and tablets. IDC had earlier expected Windows phone shipments to grow 34% instead of declining 10.2% in 2015.
Things do not improve growing forward, with the IDC revising their prediction for future growth to 4.5% compound annual growth rate, to reach 43.6 million shipments in 2019, for a market share of 2.3%.
“Despite all the effort Microsoft has put in the launch of Windows 10, IDC does not expect Microsoft’s share of the smartphone OS market to grow much over the coming years,” IDC said in a statement.
IDC’s Llamas blamed the poor performance on the lack of partner support by OEMs.
“I don’t see any vendor stepping up to the Windows Phone plate to say we will be a primary vendor of Windows Phone, although they might have it as secondary choice behind Android,” said Ramon Llamas, an analyst at IDC, in an interview, though he expected some Android vendors such as HTC, LG, Samsung to sell windows Phones as a secondary line.
On the 3 main operating systems the IDC says:
Windows Phone: Despite all the effort Microsoft has put into the launch of Windows 10, IDC does not expect Microsoft’s share of the smartphone OS market to grow much over the coming years. In 2015, IDC expects the average selling price (ASP) of Windows Phones to be $148, which is $71 lower than Android’s ASP of $219. This was brought about by the Microsoft/Nokia push into the low-end mass market. While this approach helped drive shipments up to 34.9 million units in 2014, IDC is forecasting a year-over-year decline of -10.2% in 2015, followed by further decline in 2016. The weak results can largely be attributed to the lack of OEM partner support.
Android: Android’s market share is expected to grow slightly from 81% in 2015 to 82% over the forecast period. Despite numerous attempts by “alternative platforms” to enter the market, none have proved successful. IDC believes the proliferation of the core Android platform will continue with huge efforts being put forth by companies like Cyanogen and Xiaomi to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Given its global footprint and application/services ecosystem, IDC fully expects some form of Android to hold a dominant share of the smartphone OS space for the foreseeable future.
iOS: IDC has raised its 4Q15 iPhone numbers by 7.6% based on continued consumer demand for the 6(+) and S6(+) lineups, as well as smooth supply chain foresight. As mentioned in previous releases, the market share forecast for iOS is expected to remain around 14-15% annually, with clear spikes around product launches. As the majority of Apple’s core markets have transitioned into replacement markets, Apple’s move to get into the iPhone trade-in space is not surprising. The possible challenge in 2-3 years’ time could quite possibly be excess inventory in the developing markets that refurbished iPhones are sold into. However, the lead time to solve a problem of this nature does not present any immediate concerns to IDC.
IDC’s full report can be read here.