ABI Research have posted some of their projections for 2013, and they do not seem to be too optimistic about the prospects of Windows Phone, projecting at best 25% growth from 2012.
They see the Windows Phone installed base reaching 45 million handsets by the end of 2013, compared to 798 million Android handsets and 294 million iPhones, and around 20 million Blackberry 10 handsets. Given that more than 20 million Windows Phones have been sold already, this suggests around the same number of Windows Phones and Blackberry 10 handsets will be sold in 2013.
That would give Windows Phone 3.2% of the 1.4 billion device installed base, Blackberry 10 1.4%, iOS 21% and Android 57%.
Aapo Markkanen, ABI analyst, couched this prediction in positive terms, noting an installed base of 45 million handsets is enough to keep developers interested, calling it â€œmaybe a race of two horses and two ponies.â€
â€œThe greatest fear for both Microsoft and BlackBerry is that the initial sales of their smartphones will disappoint and thereby kill off the developer interest, which then would effectively close the window of opportunity on further sales success,â€ he writes. â€œOur view is that the installed bases of this scale would be large enough to keep these two in the game.â€
â€œBased on our current shipment forecasts, we donâ€™t see the installed base of either BB or WP reaching the double-digits within the next five years,â€ Markkanen said. â€œItâ€™ll be a slow climb, since if they both stay in the game theyâ€™ll be kind of eating into each otherâ€™s success. It wonâ€™t be that much-touted two-horse race, but I wouldnâ€™t necessarily call it a three- or four-horse race either. Maybe a race of two horses and two ponies.â€
He also predicted only 5.5 million Windows tablets will be in use by the end of the year, vs 166 million iOS tablets and 75 million Android tablets.
Of course most analysts err by predicting things will remain the same as they always were, and then just multiplying the numbers out, but I suspect by the end of the year these projections will be looking very out-dated.